Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
Boaters and divers on the Little Bahama Bank have known the Atlantic Spotted dolphin since the early 1970’s. They are always willing bow riders and have become accustomed to playing with divers in the warm, shallow, gin-clear waters of White Sand Ridge, an area they call home. There are over a hundred dolphins that stay in this area, although they can travel up to fifty miles in a day to other areas, they have been documented as living primarily in this area. There are however several other “pods” in the Bahamas, from Walkers Cay in the northern Abacos to Grand Bahama island and Bimini in the south. These dolphins are found only in tropical and warm temperate Atlantic waters.
They get their name from the spots on their body. At birth they have no spots, but as they age and become weaned after about 3-5 years, they start to get dark spots on their white bellies and light spots on their darker upper body. The older they get, the more spots they get. They also have a white-tipped beak.
They spend much of their day feeding on razor wrasse and small flounder in the sand to flying fish and squid in deep water at night. They are very acrobatic and enjoy putting on a show for us as they approach our boats and in the water as they swim circles around us.
They are highly social animals that spend little time alone. Mostly they are seen touching and rubbing each other with their pectoral fins, keeping their family and social bonds strong. They enjoy playing together with games like “pass the seaweed”. Sometimes they even let us join in.
Why not take a look at our ‘Dive & Stay’ and ‘Liveaboard’ adventures where you can encounter this animal by clicking on the tabs on the left.