These dolphin are a common sight riding the bows of ships making the crossing between the mainland and Catalina island, or often times swimming just outside the surf line at Doheny. This species grows to a length of 8 to 9 feet. They have a classic yellowish hourglass marking on their side. Another good field mark is the stripe or stripes from the center of the lower jaw to the flipper. There are at least two sub-species, one possessing a short beak and the other with a long beak. They feed on small fish and for some unknown reason, tuna often school below them.
In the photo above, a common dolphin swims with a rare albino dolphin.
Photo courtesy of Dana Wharf Sports Fishing and Whale Watching.