Monday, December 12, 2011

High-Flying Spinner Dolphins

Though not as recognizable as their larger bottlenose cousins, spinner dolphins are one of the most playful and entertaining to watch of all dolphin species.
There are four recognized subspecies of spinner dolphins inhabiting tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world. At only 50-200lbs fully grown, spinner dolphins are quite small, but make up for their lack of size with amazing athletic ability. The species gets its name from its ability to leap out of the water and perform up to five and a half longitudinal spins in mid-air.
Hawaiian spinner dolphins usually live in pods of up to 200 individuals, with some in the Costa Rican region living in groups of 1,000 or more. Most spinner dolphins are nocturnal feeders and travel offshore each evening to hunt a variety of fish, squid and crustaceans. During the daylight hours the pod will return to the warm, shallow waters near the coast to play and rest. Although spinner dolphins are quite friendly towards people, tourists are often asked not to disturb resting groups during the day.

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