Deep in the Atlantic Ocean live the spotted dolphins. Their tails and fins help them swim fast so they can capture their prey. Some may think these speedy creatures are fish, but they are actually mammals.
Spotted dolphins have unique features. For example, they have protruding jaws called “beaks” that contain cone-shaped teeth for grabbing fish. Some species of spotted dolphins have as many as 176 teeth. This dolphin also has a blow hole that opens and closes with a muscular valve as it breathes. Typically, a spotted dolphin weighs about 300 pounds and can grow up to eight feet five inches long.
Like the spotted dolphin, the white-sided dolphin is a great swimmer. It, too, has a blow hole. While the white-sided dolphin swims in cold water, the spotted dolphin swims in warm water. Similar in shape and size to the white-sided dolphin, spotted dolphins actually have shorter beaks. They are also darker.
Most spotted dolphins live for about 46 years, and they rely on nutrition from octopus, fish, and squid. Their mating season depends on the species, but most carry only one dolphin at a time, for about a little less than a year. Female spotted dolphins usually give birth every two to four years.
If you ever have the chance to go near the Atlantic, try and scope out the spotted dolphins!
The Encyclopedia of Animals