Spotted Dolphins are the friendliest Bahamas Dolphins.
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella frontalis) are considered a near-shore, non migrating species ranging the temperate and tropical coastal waters of the Atlantic. As the name suggests, they are commonly recognized by their spots that develop as they age. Spotted Dolphins range throughout the Bahamas with certain areas having resident pods, such as Bimini. There are numerous different pods through out the Bahamas with some individuals moving between different pods.
SPOTTING PATTERN/AGE GUIDE:Spotted Dolphins are born with no spots, they begin getting spots at about four years old. As the dolphins age, black spots fill in the light underside, white spots fill the darker upper sides and back. The spotting patterns take on a mottled appearance in adults, eventually fusing together on older dolphins. This helps us with age estimates as well.
Newborn Calf - under one year
Two-tone - 1-5 years
Spotted - 6-11 years
Mottled - 12-17 years
Fused - 18 years plus
Mother and Calf
Female Spotted Dolphin reach maturity around 12 years old. Gestation period for a pregnant female is 11 to 12 months. The baby is born within a group of other dolphins. For the first couple of months the newborn stays close to its mother or a baby sitter. The young are always more playful and curios like many other mammal species. Nursing goes on for over two years at which time the baby stays in the general area of the mother but is becoming more independent. The young stay around it’s mother for up to four years but the mother can have a new baby by the third year. Females grow up around their mothers and other females until over 11 years when they become fertile. This is when the females start courtship games with the males and become pregnant. Then they settle to a more serious life of feeding, offspring, and nursing.
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Identification Project
Identification of individual Atlantic Spotted Dolphin is central to any research on this free-ranging species. It is essential to helping us understand behaviors over a number of years by knowing who's who.
The identification and cataloging of each individual is done by photographs of both sides of the dolphin.
"Chub" in 1992
"Chub" in 2021
Sharkbait in 1996
Sharkbait in 2021