13 Fin-tastic Facts About The Tonina For Kids

Tonina facts about the Tonina fish species.

The Chilean dolphin mammal (Cephalorhynchus Eutropia), also known as the black dolphin mammal, is one of four species of dolphin in the genus Cephalorhynchus. Tonina is popularly known as the Chilean dolphin, which is native to Chile's coastal waters, as you may have guessed from their name. Toninas have a short, rounded dorsal fin and white spots behind their tiny, angled flippers. The tonina has a white belly with grey stripes that varies between males and females.

Here are some of the most important and interesting facts about the tonina species. Afterwards, do check our other articles on Caribbean reef shark facts and sandbar shark facts as well.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fish, squid and crustaceans

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1 calf

How much do they weigh?

132-176 lb (59.8-79.8 kg)

How long are they?

5.2-5.6 ft (158.5-170.6 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black and white

Skin Type

Wet and slimy scales

What are their main threats?

Habitat loss, overfishing

What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened

Where you'll find them

Coastal waters







Scientific Name

Cephalorhynchus eutropia





Tonina Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tonina?

Tonina is a kind of dolphin that lives in the coastal waters of Chile. They belong to the family delphinidae of genus cephalorhynchus.

What class of animal does a tonina belong to?

Toninas are aquatic mammals that have always fascinated humans. Toninas belongs to a class in the Animalia kingdom.

How many toninas are there in the world?

The Chilean dolphin species, perhaps one of the least observed of all cetaceans, is unknown with certainty. Steve Leatherwood believes that the population of this species is less than 5,000 Tonina remaining in the world. Whatever the population size, the Chilean dolphin is native to Chile's coast and is not believed to migrate.

Where does a tonina live?

Tonina lives in the oceans. Since they prefer environments with high tidal ranges, they can be found in the mouths of fjords and bays, as well as estuaries, channels, and waterways.

What is a tonina's habitat?

Tonina is native to Chile's coastal waters, as you may have guessed from their name. They have been seen in the Strait of Magellan and the channels of Tierra del Fuego, in some fairly stunning locations.

Who do toninas live with?

Tonina dislikes human presence, but they enjoy socializing with other marine mammals and have been seen with Peale's dolphins. Toninas are often seen in small groups of two or three individuals, although they can be found in groups of up to twenty individuals. While hunting, they are often seen in the company of feeding seabirds.

How long does a tonina live?

Tonina has a life expectancy of at least 40 years, with females outliving males by 60 years or more.

How do they reproduce?

There is not a lot of information about this species' reproductive mechanism and mating behavior. However, Tonina breeds early in the winter and gives birth in the spring. Every two years, females have one calf. Sexual development occurs between the ages of 5-9 years. Other facets of Chilean dolphin reproduction remain unknown.

What is their conservation status?

Tonina is protected under the Convention on the Conservation and Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). It has a poor environmental status or will benefit greatly from international cooperation facilitated by personalized agreements. Steps are being taken to stop dolphin hunts, creating healthy seas, and trying to prevent deaths in nets.

Tonina Fun Facts

What does tonina look like?

Tonina's thin, stocky figure is a beautiful mixture of colors and tones. Toninas feature a light grey melon on top of their heads, and the lower jaw has dark colors that intensify into a black band that reaches to the flippers. Tonina has a low, sloping forehead, a beautiful black line stretching from the blowhole to just above the eye, and a striking white neck.

Tonina animal species is also known as the Chilean Dolphin.
*Please note that this is an image of a common bottlenose dolphin, not a tonina. If you have an image of a tonina, please let us know at

How cute are they?

They look so cute as they come out of the water for oxygen. The jumps and moves they do are so amazing to watch.

How do they communicate?

Toninas emit cries that are composed of fast pulses at extremely low temperatures. At the time, recording technology was insufficient to catch the full range of their tones. They explore their surroundings using echolocation.

How big is a tonina?

Tonina is ten times smaller than the biggest dolphin, the orca, which easily reaches lengths of around 19-26 ft (6-8 m), whereas Tonina can grow anywhere between 5.2-5.6 ft (158.5-170.6 cm).

How fast can a tonina swim?

Toninas are agile and hasty swimmers. Toninas can accelerate  to 19.5 mph (31.4 kph) in 0.7 seconds using just five strokes. It was also discovered that the tonina showed great acceleration in the downstroke but less acceleration or even a mild deceleration in the upstroke during the strokes.

How much does a tonina weigh?

An average tonina weighs anywhere between 132-176 lb (59.8-79.8 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male and female toninas. They are simply called toninas or Chilean dolphin.

What would you call a baby tonina?

There is no special name for baby toninas and they are simply known as baby Toninas. Baby toninas tend to stick with the mother for a long time before they leave their pack.

What do they eat?

Toninas eats seafood (sardines, anchovies, and young salmon), squid, and crustaceans. The known predators of toninas are large snakes, jaguars and caimans.

Are they aggressive?

No, they are not aggressive. But it is not ideal to grow in a domestic environment too.

Would they make a good pet?

No, the conditions for toninas to survive as a pet in a household are not possible.

Did you know...

The tonina is one of the smallest dolphins available in the world.

Toninas have two stomachs.

Toninas never chew their food; instead, they swallow it whole. Their teeth are only used to capture prey.

Why do toninas usually prefer shallow water?

Toninas' smaller size allows for heat dissipation, and they enjoy colder temperate waters. The population of the fish that toninas eat are normally denser in shallow coastal waters.

How are toninas different from other dolphins?

This Chilean dolphin is small, measuring about 5.6 ft (170.6 cm) in length and having a blunt head. In comparison to other dolphins, the dorsal fin and flippers are short in proportion to body length.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these numbat facts and shrew facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our toninas coloring pages.



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