Spinner Dolphin

Spinner Dolphin in Nigerian ocean
Photo: anidescoala.ro

Spinner Dolphin, Stenella longirostris, is one of the seven dolphin species belonging to one family Delphinidae that have been observed to be widely distributed in the coastal waters of Nigeria. This species is equally available in all tropical and subtropical waters around the world between roughly 40°N and 40°S. Spinner dolphins are about 2 meters long and weigh approximately 59-77kg in adulthood. They have long, slender beak. It can be seen spinning high in the air, or riding the bow waves of boats. This species mostly inhabit the upper layers of the open sea. They are a very gregarious species frequently traveling together in schools and with other species. Schools of dolphins make several spinning leaps in a row for an unclear reason.

The nominate Spinner Dolphin subspecies is found within Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in Atlantic Ocean. This is characterized by a more robust body than other forms, erect dorsal fin falcate and three-part color pattern; white belly, light grey sides and dark grey cape. They rest during the day and feed at night on fish and squid. They find their prey by echolocation, emitting high frequency sound pulses from the waxy mass in the head, called melon. Gestation in Spinner Dolphins takes some 304 days and they may live for up to 25 years.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer