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Atlantic spotted dolphins tend to live in tropical and warm/temperate waters.  They live in the Atlantic Ocean ranging from the northern United States to South America.  The Bahamas and Gulf of Mexico region hold many Atlantic spotted dolphins.  These dolphins are known to inhabit both offshore (away from shore/near the continental shelf) and inshore(in shallow waters near the shore) waters.  Those that are offshore are found mostly in the tropical oceans located north of the equator and around the Galapagos Islands.

                                         Image courtesy of: Wikipedia     

These dolphins tend to stick to shallow waters, gulf coasts, and the continental shelf.  There are many other organisms that inhabit their niche along with them.  Other dolphin species, such as the Bottlenose dolphin and the Spinner dolphin, are also commonly seen where the Atlantic dolphins live.  They are even known to go looking for food together! 

Along with other dolphins, there are predators (mainly sharks) and the types of prey the Atlantic spotted dolphins feed on (such as eels, herring, tuna, squid, and other fish species).  Atlantic spotted dolphins are
predators in their natural environment.  The world-wide spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata, has been found in what is called the "ETP."  The "ETP" is the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.  Stenella frontalis is not found in the ETP because the Pacific Ocean does not fit into their niche.  Atlantic spotted dolphins are found only in the Atlantic Ocean, like in the above map.

Dealing with the food chain, dolphins are towards the top.  Sharks can eat them, but dolphins are usually pretty good at avoiding that.  Dolphins are carnivores and great predators.  Their
adaptations to getting food are what make them such great predators in the open ocean.

                                                    Image courtesy of: William Rossiter, CSI President, and Brent Hall, website editor

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