The genus Delphinus classifies the types of dolphins known as the common dolphins.  These dolphins are found in all of the oceans between the latitudes 600 N and 500 S (give or take 100), besides the Western Atlantic in the tropical areas (Pinela, 2011).  Delphinus spp.  can be found from cool temperate zones to the warmer tropical regions.  Throughout the world, the common dolphin occupies many different types of habitats.  These habitats include oceanic regions, continental shelf waters, and the continental shelf break (Jefferson et al. 2009).

The large distribution of Delphinus promotes many different morphotypes.  There are two main morphotypes that are recognized.  The two main types are the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis).  There are two other species that have been recognized as subspecies, the Indian Long-Beaked Common dolphin (Delphinus capensis tropicalis) (Tavares,  2010). 

The short-beaked common dolphin is found all over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as the continental shelf, which is the extended perimeter of each continent before it drops off into the open ocean.  This ranges from southern Norway to the northwest African coast, Newfoundland to Florida, and from southern Canada to Chile.  Delphinus capensis are distributed throughout the shores of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.  The habitat for this organism ranges from Venezuela to Argentina, southern California to central Mexico, in Peru, and around Korea, Japan and Taiwan.  Lastly, the Indian Long-Beaked Common Dolphin is only found in the Indian Ocean and shallow coastal waters (Pinela, 2011).  The geographic range for many of these species and subspecies overlap.  Different subspecies prefer different temperatures of water depending on the latitude they inhabit. 

Since the common dolphin is found in nearly every ocean, there are a wide variety of different species that live in the same habitat as the Delphinus delphis.  The website multipleorganisms.net has many organisms that live in these marine environments.  A few examples would be the orca (killer whale), sardines (a stable food source of the common dolphin), and great white shark. 

 To learn about what characteristics the common dolphin has adapted go to Form and Function

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