Creature Feature – Spinner Dolphin

It’s Creature Feature Friday! As we head into December, each week we take a detailed look at a resident of Christmas Island. First up is the Spinner Dolphin. Famous for their skilful acrobatic displays, the spinner dolphin is a small dolphin found in off-shore tropical waters around the world.

Creature Feature Friday - Spinner Dolphin

Taxonomy

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Artiodactyla

Family: Delphinidae

Genus: Stenella

Spinner Dolphin Fact File

? Size: Individuals can reach 2.1m in length and and weigh up to 77kg

? Distrobution: They can be found throughout the world in tropical and warm-temperate waters. Four subspecies of spinner dolphins have been described

? Diet: This species has a varied diet – they eat small fish, shrimps, and squid

? Behaviour: Researchers suggest that spinner dolphins spin for multiple reasons: to shake off remoras and parasites; to indicate location and direction; to display dominance; for courtship purposes; and possibly just because the activity is fun!

? IUCN Status: Data Deficient / Least Concern. Top threats include tuna fishing, pressure from human interactions, ocean noise, boat collisions, and habitat degradation