Facts on Species of Dolphins
- Bottlenose dolphins are one of the most closely studied species of dolphin; they are commonly used in theme parks and in film due to their interest in people and ability to be trained. Bottlenose dolphins vary between about six and twelve feet long. They are usually slate gray with pale underbellies. These dolphins have a long, thin "nose." which is their namesake. Bottlenose dolphins are found in most warm and tropical oceans; they are a protected species in the United States.
- Orcas are sometimes called killer whales, but they are actually a dolphin species. Orcas are the largest members of the dolphin family, running from about 18 to 32 feet long. These dolphins are black with white markings near their eyes and a white underbelly. Due to their size, orcas feed on large prey, such as sea turtles, seals, squid and other dolphins. Most of them work in groups known as pods, using echolocation to hunt.
Amazon River Pink Dolphin
- Amazon pink river dolphins are some of the most endangered dolphins in the world due to pollution, such as rising mercury levels in the Amazon River. These dolphins can be found in pinks and light grays; they have longer snouts than ocean dolphins, which help them hunt small fish, crabs and other creatures at the bottom of the river. Pink river dolphins have a smaller dorsal fin than ocean species and a hunched back.
- Spinner dolphins are ocean dolphins that are known to sometimes spin as they leap in the water. Spinner dolphins have long noses with black tips. Their bodies are about six feet long; they live in pods of up to a thousand dolphins, although groups in the hundreds or less are more common. Unlike most species, spinner dolphin pods have no hierarchy or leader. Spinner dolphins hunt crabs and fish in deep tropical waters.