Dolphin and Whale Watching in Gran Canaria

Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus)

Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus)
Grey pilot whale with new born calf.

The Risso's dolphin is one of the most easily identifiable dolphins thanks to its morphology and skin markings.

They reach a size of around 4 metres and a ton of weight. With a robust body, large round head, it has a barely visible stripe on its forehead that goes from the melon to the mouth and, above all, it has scars in the form of stripes all over its body that become more numerous as it ages and although it is born with a dark grey colouring, it becomes practically white at the end of its life.

Their distribution reaches temperate, subtropical and tropical waters all over the planet. In the Canary Islands they are present throughout the year and can often be seen near the coast with slow movement rhythms and in small family groups.

One of the most curious behaviours of the Risso's dolphin is a vertical position that they maintain for a while in which they stick their tail fin out of the water, keeping their head and the rest of their body underwater.

They feed on cephalopods that they hunt at different depths.
The Risso's pilot whale is one of the cetaceans recently included in the National Catalogue of Threatened Species, as well as having the category of 'vulnerable' species in the Canary Islands catalogue.