Common dolphin tail
Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) can be found in warm and temperate waters around the world, including New Zealand. Common dolphins are one of 10 dolphin species that occur in New Zealand waters today, although many other species lived around ancient New Zealand in the very diistant past.
The model shows a set of tail vertebrae from a sub-adult common dolphin. Vertebrae are named according to the region of the body where they are found. These are 'caudal' vertebrae and they are found in the tail region.
Dr Karen Stockin is a marine mammal ecology and biology researcher with the Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. Dr Stockin is often called out to beach-strandings of dolphins. In stranding situations where the dolphins have died, Dr Stockin's post-mortem analyses help us to understand the cause of death.