Atlantic Spotted Dolphin

The Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are found in the Gulf Stream of the North Atlantic Ocean. Cuvier first identified this dolphin species in 1828. The considerable variations of individual dolphins of this particular species has left specialists uncertain as to the correct taxonomic classification. Currently the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin is recognized as one species. However it is possible that a larger heavily spotted dolphin commonly found near Florida may be classified as a formal subspecies of the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin.

The coloring of the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin has extreme variations from the time they're born until they're full grown adults. Calves are born a simple grey color until they are weaned from their mothers milk, which is when they begin to get their spots. As they mature they begin showing dark spots over their light grey color until they are fully mature. At this stage their dark spots cover their entire bodies with the light grey protruding as the spots.

At birth the Atlantic Spotted Dolphins have a length of 35 to 43 inches. The weight of the calves is unknown. When fully matured the adults have a length of 7.5 to 7.6 feet, the females being larger in length. The weight of the Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are 290 to 310 lbs. the males generally weigh more than the females. These particular dolphins live in waters along with the Bottlenose Dolphins. The Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are fast swimmers and are often observed bow-riding and doing acrobats in the water.

The Atlantic Spotted Dolphins live in temperate and tropical waters in the Atlantic Ocean. They are frequently seen and observed in the Westeren end of the Gulf Stream, between Florida and Bermuda. They are also common residents of the Gulf of Mexico, the Azores and the Canary Islands. They have been spotted as far North as Cape Cod and the Western tip of Spain. These mammals are also found South in the Rio Grande do Sul, in Brazil and across to West Africa. Is is estimated that the Atlantic Spotted Dolphins population is around 100,000.

In the Bahamas these friendly dolphins are often looked upon during cruises and other human contact is common. The Atlantic Spotted Dolphins are also commonly sought after for "swimming with the dolphin" adventures. These dolphins are occasionally hunted by humans and have been caught and killed in gillnets used by fisherman. However there doesn't seem to be any real threat to their numbers due to these threats.