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Virtual Talk on Dolphins from Oregon Coast Scientist, April 21

Published 04/14/22 at 5:52 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Virtual Talk on Dolphins from Oregon Coast Scientist, April 21

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(Newport, Oregon) – There aren't a lot of dolphins on the Oregon coast, and those that are present are usually quite a ways out and only spotted by those at sea. Yet a handful of species do exist in these waters, and thus they are the subject of study by the Marine Mammal Institute at Newport's Hatfield Marine Science Center. (Photo courtesy Hatifield Marine Science Center)

The Hatfield’s Science on Tap series continues and features a talk dolphins on Thursday, April 21 at 6 p.m. Guest speaker is Mauricio Cantor, an assistant professor with the institute, with a virtual talk entitled “Inventive feeding tactics shape dolphin societies.”

These famed Oregon coast lectures are not yet back in person and at local pubs, so once again you'll have to pour your at home while watching.

Cantor's talk looks at creative ways dolphins catch a bite underwater and how these inventive tactics can profoundly shape individuals' lives and societies.

Cantor said dolphins have a certain technique in navigating their physical environments to find food and acquiring the skills to best handle their favorite yummy bits. Dolphins – on the Oregon coast and elsewhere - have the additional challenge of navigating their social environments to decide when to race, share or fight for their food. By combining exceptional cognitive and learning abilities with a remarkable social life, dolphins are famous for inventive solutions to these foraging challenges.

To register for this event, free and open to the public, go to

Or call: +1 971 247 1195 Webinar ID: 953 4713 1268.

For accommodation requests related to a disability, contact Cinamon Moffett at 541-867-0126.

The two main types of dolphins found off the Oregon coast are the bottlenose dolphin or the Pacific white-sided dolphin. Unfortunately, the only times these show up close enough to be seen by visitors is if a deceased one washes up onshore. There are many cases of the Seaside Aquarium dealing with this on the north Oregon coast and southern Washington coast.

According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), the bottlenose dolphin is the most common type found in the oceans of the world, in both temperate and tropical environments. They are well known for their intelligence and have a kind of “smile” built into their mouths which humans find endearing, making them popular with TV and movies. The U.S. Navy also utilizes them to search out weaponry underwater.

The Pacific white-sided dolphin is more common in Southern California, but during the summer they do move northward into waters off the Oregon coast and Washington coast. They prefer the deeper waters of the region.

They are about seven to eight feet long, and have three different colors on them in various parts. This includes a dark gray around the eyes and a light gray stripe running beneath it.

Porpoises are extremely common off the Oregon coast, often fairly close to shore, and these are mistaken for dolphins.

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Below: more of the Hatfield Marine Science Center


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