Common dolphins are typically 1.7-2.6 m in length and weigh between 70-135 kg. They are fusiform (shaped like a fish) and slender. Their dorsal (upper or top side) side is black to brownish black, with varying coloration and markings. The ventral (under) side is offwhite or white. The flanks are distinctly marked with hourglass or criss-cross patterns that tan or yellowish tan in color. Their short beak is well-defined and often features a white tip. One or more dark stripes are found from the center of the lower jaw to the flippers. Their dorsal fin is triangular to distinctly falcate (curved) in shape with a pointed tip and usually black with a lighter gray region of varying size near the middle.