atlantic spotted Dolphins
The Atlantic spotted dolphin is considered playful and acrobatic. They love to ride the bow wave of boats and surf the wake of ships they encounter. They are also more likely to approach humans than other dolphin species, and become easily habituated to human activity in the wild, but do not survive in captivity
The Atlantic Spotted Dolphin In Detail :
- PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION Spotted dolphins are dif cult to describe because their size and coloring vary according to their geographic location. Found only in tropical waters, and subtropical waters, there are two recognized species: the Atlantic spe- cies, Stenella frontalis, and the worldwide species, the pan-tropical spotted dolphin, Stella attenuata. Their long slim beak con- tains 35 to 48 small conical teeth in each side of the upper jaw and 34 to 47 small, conical teeth in each side of the lower jaw.
- COLOUR Spotted dolphins change their coloration as they mature. Newborn calves are dark gray with a white belly (two-tones). As the animal grows older, dark spots begin to appear. First dark spots appear on the lower part of the body (speckled). When sexually mature, light spots begin to appear on the dark upper portion of the body (mottled). Eventually, the spots merge into almost solid color patterns (fused). This color pattern process is a visual indicator of the age of the dolphin.
- FINS AND FLUKES The dorsal (top) n is tall and curved; the ippers are small and pointed. The ukes are small and pointed at the tips with a small median notch.
- LENGTH AND WEIGHT Length averages about 7 feet (2.1 m); weight averages 220 pounds (100 kg). Calves are 32 to 36 inches (80 to 90 cm) at birth.
- FEEDING Spotted dolphins feed on many varieties of sh and squid found in various water depths. They also feed on small sh and eels found buried in the sand in shallow waters.