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Spinner Dolphin
Stenella longirostris
200 cm


Where Spinner Dolphins are found. Map from GBIF.
Count Log
You have not counted me yet. Visit the South Reef or North Reef , grab a tricoder, and click on me!
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Encyclopedia of Life
Visit this species on the Encyclopedia of Life to find out more!
Lifestyle
I am a mammal, not a fish. We need to breathe air just like you. Unlike fish, we don't lay eggs. Dolphin babies are born alive, like other mammal babies. Females of our species are pregnant for about 10 months and give birth to one calf (that's a baby dolphin) at a time. Dolphin mothers have to take care of the calves and nurse them for 7 months. You can find us in tropical seas all over the world. We like to be with other Spinner dolphins, so you can almost always find us in groups called pods. It is common for our pods to have around 200 dolphins, but some of our pods have had 1,000 dolphins! Sometimes we form pods with other dolphin species and even other animals in the sea, like tuna.
Fun Facts
I am totally an acrobat! I can do many amazing jumps, spins, and flips in the air. I mostly do them at night. Spinner dolphins like me are pretty mysterious and scientists don't understand why we jump so much. Some think we jump to communicate with each other, but others think we jump to play. We dolphins communicate with each other and see underwater using echolocation (EKO-lo-CA-shun). That means we use sound to see! I will make a high squeal and it will travel though the water. When it hits something (like a coral or another dolphin) it will bounce back, or echo, to me. I can tell how far something or what shape something is by the way the sound returns to me!
Menu
Our favorite dish is fish! We are excellent hunters and like to eat medium size fish that school together. We communicate very well, so we often hunt in groups to confuse our prey. We also like to eat squid and shrimp. We only eat meat, so we are carnivores.
Threats
We often swim with tuna, and sometimes we get caught and die in tuna fishing nets. But many humans have changed the way they fish and use "dolphin-safe" tuna nets. A few people catch us to eat or to use as bait, but we are more valuable to people alive. Many people like to watch us swim and jump, especially tourists. Tourists pay to watch us swim, and local people can use the money to keep our home and us safe. This is called eco-tourism.
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