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Kingdom: Animalia 
Spinner dolphins are classified under Animalia because they are multi-cellular and heterotrophic; meaning that they rely on other organisms for food. The cells that make up these animals do not have a cell wall and most of the cells are organized into tissues, which are then put into specialized groups of organs for function. Dolphins are very active, and can take part in many complex movements. Most of these organisms are diploid, meaning that there are two sets of chromosomes; one from the mother and one from the father.   

Phylum: Chordata
Spinners can also be classified in the group Chordata because they possess a notochord at sometime throughout their development. This is an structure that aids in supporting the body during movements. The notochord is dorsal to the gut area, but ventral to the central nervous system. The chordates also have a full digestive system, bilateral symmetry, a tail, a ventral heart, segmented bodies, and pharyngeal pouches at some stage in life.

Subphylum: Vertebrata
The organisms in the Vertebrata class all share one thing; a vertebrae. A vertebrae is a long column of bones that run dorsally along the organism. The Spinner dolphin fits into this subphylum because it contains a ventral heart, perforated pharynx, red blood cells containing hemoglobin, and two kidneys.    

Class: Mammalia
Stenella longirostris fits into the Mammalia class because they produce milk and from their mammary glands. Female mammals have to invest a lot of time into their offspring because of this feeding technique, so therefore these animals seem very family oriented.

Order: Cetacea
Spinner dolphins are categorized in the Cetacea order because they are believed to be descendants of archaeocetes. These organisms live a completely aquatic life and and takes no part in life on land at any point in development.


Family: Delphinidae
One of the main aspects of the Delphinidae family is the shape of the organisms heads. Most have long beaks, or rostrums, and contain a "melon" at the top. The common name for this family is "porpoise", but some are known as dolphins for a more distinct beak shape. This family is extremely social and interactive and use many unique behaviors that researchers now seek out today. These dolphins are also known for their communication technique; known as echolocation. Delphinids are also extremely intelligent and live mostly in large groups.   


Genus: Stenella
Stenella longirostris is one of four main subgroups of Spinner dolphins. This is a very specific group to only the Spinners that live in certain areas.


Species: Stenella longirostris
The Stenella longirostris species is a highly specific species of dolphin; these organisms are extremely playful, active, and socially interactive.



This page was created by Sally Johnson

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