But, you gotta have friends!
Atlantic spotted dolphins
are a very friendly group of organisms. They like to be around
other organisms that interact with them. This is a very carefree
and energetic species of dolphin. Atlantic spotted dolphins travel
and live in groups, called pods. These pods are indeed family.
They are made up of aunts, sisters,
mothers, and children.
Atlantic spotted dolphins also like to be around other species of
dolphins, typically spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. They
have even been known to
hunt with those other dolphins. When they
are in hunting mode, these dolphins tend to follow large schools of
their prey (their favorite- tuna!).
When talking about the food chain, Atlantic spotted dolphins can be the
very top or at least very close to the top. These dolphins are
predators (and carnivores, at that). Though they are efficient
predators, they can be harmed or even killed by sharks, other whales,
and people. The Atlantic spotted dolphin can defend itself fairly
well. Their snout is often used to bat sharks in their gills, thus
causing excruciating pain to the shark and allowing the dolphin to
Though they are predators, dolphins also have internal parasites that
invade the dolphin from its food. Nematodes, trematodes, and other
small parasites are found in large numbers throughout the ocean.
Sometimes they can be harmless or even beneficial. Some organisms
can live long lives with many parasites in their bodies. When they
are found in the bodies of dolphins, they evoke harmful effects that can
weaken the dolphin's body. Dolphins can be prone to nematodes that
invade the heart, kidneys, and lungs where they can damage nerves and
can also cause horrible pain for the dolphin. Here's an
interesting fact for you! When a dolphin is being affected by a
nematode in this fashion, it will bash its head against hard objects
because of the stress. The dolphin will also throw itself ashore
so it'll die and relieve itself of the misery!
People generally like dolphins and don't harm them. If the dolphin
is used to people and is comfortable around them, the dolphin can
interact and play with the human. These dolphins (and other
dolphin species) have been known to save sailors and those lost at sea.
When they interact with people in boats, or just playing in the ocean,
these dolphins like to spray people with water, pop up from nowhere, or
initiate games (like poking people with their snouts or tugging at
flippers of divers). When people do harm dolphins, it is a sad
story. Dolphins are still used in some products today.
Fertilizer is the biggest. They are also sometimes slaughtered if
they interfere with the tuna boats (that is, if they didn't die
first from being tangled in the nets). Another big killer of these
dolphins is when people poison the waters with chemicals. Happily,
the number of dolphins being killed for these things is declining year
Though people have caused harm, we have also learned a lot from these
dolphins. Dolphins are seen today in captivity, such as zoos and
parks. They are even used sometimes to help the military find bombs or
submarines underwater (by using their
echolocation). Dolphins are
also being used to educate people on why they are needed in the wild, as
predators and organisms living their day-to-day lives.