Long-snouted Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris)

 

Meaning of species name is "long-snouted". Circum-global in tropical and subtropical waters. The most abundant dolphin species in the tropics.

At sea identification: Mature animals are 1.5-2.3  m in length (several varieties, including a dwarf morph, exist). Slender, elongated body, usually tri-color pattern (dark back, grey flanks and light belly). Dark stripe from eye to pectoral fin. Erect triangular dorsal fin. The most distinctive feature is the long and slender snout and the aerial display of up to 7 "screw" spins around the longitudinal axis while leaping. Readily approaches boats, usually sighted close to shore in variable-sized groups, depending on activity and food availability, often in mixed groups with pantropical spotted dolphin. In many areas rests/sleeps during the day in closed lagoons.

Identifying marks on land: Up to 60 teeth in each half jaw.

Feeds on vertically migrating schooling fish, squid and shrimps, up to 20 cm in size, down to a depth of 200 m. Sexual maturity at 6 y for females and 8 y for males, year round promiscuous breading, pregnancy 10 months long, weaning at 2 y and inter-breath interval is 3 years. Common in the Red Sea, single sighting in the south part of the Gulf of Eilat.

Additional facts:

Adult weight: 80 Kg.

Newborn length is 0.8 m

Life expectancy: Not known.

 

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