Yummy yummy yummy
in my tummy!

Image courtesy of: Anne Allard


Interesting facts

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Atlantic spotted dolphins spend most of their time searching for food.  These dolphins are predators that eat fish (they love herring and tuna), squid, eels, and other invertebrates.  Atlantic spotted dolphins eat as a pod (meaning they hunt and eat together).  Atlantic spotted dolphins swallow their prey whole and head first.  They do not chew like people do because their teeth are designed for grasping and tearing, not chewing.  These dolphins are not your ordinary predators.  In fact, they are extremely smart predators.  For instance, if their prey is too big to swallow head first, they will rub it on the sea floor to break it up or even use teamwork to eat it.    The offspring learn how to hunt and eat by watching their parents and having their parents teach them the ways of surrounding the prey and attacking it.

These dolphins also like to follow fishing boats that capture tuna or herring because it helps them find the prey in a easier fashion.  When these dolphins follow the boats, there are good and bad consequences.  Atlantic spotted dolphins have been known to lead fishermen to large schools of fish and they can even lead the fish to the nets.  These dolphins can get caught in the nets sometimes.  Most fishermen will help the dolphins get out of the nets alive, but not all fishermen are this nice.  When the dolphins steal the fish from the nets, the fishermen can get very angry.  Sometimes, if this happens, they kill the dolphins! 

                                                     Image courtesy of: Anne Allard

Atlantic spotted dolphins have a closed circulatory system that transports the nutrients gained from eating the fish or other types of prey.  These nutrients are then stored as blubber.  Blubber to dolphins is what fat is to humans.  It is a nutrient storage compartment that can be used when necessary to provide nutrients and energy to the organism.

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