A Risso's Dolphin is found in the deep waters of almost every ocean, though they prefer to stay in colder climates. They are very large dolphins, growing up to 5 feet long and weighing as much as 1500 pounds. Risso's Dolphins have a grey/purple color with white under bellies.
Risso's Dolphins have a unique feature that sets them apart from other dolphins- ten to fifteen throat grooves that stretch from their blowhole down to their belly button. These grooves give it an almost snakelike appearance. Although these dolphins were thought to be solitary animals for a time, recent studies show that they do socialize and can be found around other Risso's Dolphins on occasion. When hunting fish, squid or octopus, Risso's Dolphins will charge vertically downward, creating a vortex in the water that sucks its prey into their mouth. Other dolphins, whales and seals are at risk for this hunting method.
The lifespan of Risso's Dolphins is still unknown. However, one has lived to be forty years old in captivity, so it is assumed that they live about as long as other dolphins do. Risso's Dolphin reproduction begins when males reach sexual maturity around nine years of age, while females mature even later than that, between eleven and fifteen years old. A baby Risso's Dolphin calf will nurse for up to 18 months before becoming completely independent from its mother; calves are cared for by their mothers for at least two years following birth.