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Pacific white-sided dolphin frolic in the Abbott Oceanarium.

Pacific White-Sided Dolphin

These athletic dolphins zip through waters on both sides of the North Pacific Ocean at speeds of up to 25 mph! Echolocation, similar to radar, helps them hunt schools of small fishes such as herring and capelin. They often work in groups to herd their prey. Shedd is one of only a few North American aquariums where you can see Pacific white-sided dolphins.

A pacific white-sided dolphin is tested in the Abbott Oceanarium for Shedd's Microbiome Project.

Learning from care

A blowhole biome? Shedd’s Microbiome Project researches the microscopic life that shares space with every animal, including our Pacific white-sided dolphins. A recent study found that dolphin’s blowholes in aquariums and in the wild have a unique microbial signature, including many species previously unknown to science!

Voluntary animal health studies like these build our knowledge about the animals in our care—and give us tools to better understand wild populations as well.

It's playtime for our Pacific white-sided dolphins! Buoys are one of several toys our dolphins engage with—they can tug them, pull them underwater, or push them around.

“It’s hard to monitor and track them in the wild, so pretty much everything we know about young Pacific white-sided dolphins growing up we’ve learned in aquariums and zoos.”

Maris Muzzy, cetacean manager

Meet the dolphins

Who's who in the dolphin pod at Shedd? Meet them all, from youngster Kukdlaa to 280-pound Katrl! Shedd is one of only three U.S. aquariums where you can see this exceptionally acrobatic species.

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Dolphin Ipo sticks its head from the water, its pointed beak opened slightly to show dense rows of short, stubby teeth.

Ipo

Pacific white-sided dolphin Sagu with head above the water at Shedd Aquarium

Sagu

Pacific white-sided dolphin Makoa swims in the Abbott Oceanarium

Makoa

Pacific white-sided dolphin Kri swims in the Abbot Oceanarium

Kri

Pacific white-sided dolphin Kukdlaa sticks her head above the water in the Abbott Oceanarium.

Katrl

Pacific white-sided dolphin Kukdlaa with head above the water at Shedd Aquarium

Kukdlaa