Fact of the Day: Long-Snouted Spinner Dolphin - Oceana USA
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August 17, 2010

Fact of the Day: Long-Snouted Spinner Dolphin

BY: MollyH

Did you know there are about 40 species of dolphin? When you think of dolphins, you might just be picturing the bottlenose dolphin or the common dolphin, but what about the long-snouted spinner dolphin?  (And did you know that the killer whale is actually a kind of dolphin too?)

Long-snouted spinner dolphins are relatively small for oceanic dolphins, growing only about 7 feet long (the bottlenose dolphin is about 10 feet long). Spinner dolphins are highly social and are often seen in pods of hundreds of dolphins. Like all dolphins, spinners communicate by echolocation, which is an elaborate series of clicks and whistles. Spinner dolphins also slap the surface of the water with their fins to communicate.

Spinner dolphins get their name from their impressive acrobatics.  When breaching, they can leap about 10 feet in the air and spin around their longitudinal axis seven times before landing back in the water. Pretty impressive!

Unfortunately, spinner dolphins are often found near schools of yellowfin tuna and fishermen use a sighting of these dolphins to find schools of tuna. As a result, long-snouted spinners often get stuck in fishing nets and drown. 

Click here to help protect the long-snouted spinner dolphins and check out Oceana.org/Explore for more info on  more dolphins, marine wildlife, and ways you can help!