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Spinner Dolphin

Spinner dolphins are like aquatic gymnasts. They can leap high in the air, spinning several times before they land. Scientists think they spin to remove parasites and communicate with each other. Maybe they spin because it’s fun too!

Fun Facts

  • Spinner dolphins live in warm oceans around the world. One group in Hawaii is especially friendly, often interacting with swimmers and people on boats.
  • Spinner dolphins eat fish, octopus, and squid. At night, they hunt in deeper waters. During the day, they stay closer to the surface, watching out for sharks.
  • These dolphins swim in schools of hundreds of dolphins. Sometimes they join other whales or dolphins, such as humpback whales.
  • Spinner dolphins sometimes get caught in fishing nets because they swim with tuna. Fishermen are beginning to use special nets that allow dolphins to get out if they get caught.
  • Dolphins communicate with each other through squeaks. Sometimes they slap the ocean surface with their fins to communicate danger or that food is near.
  • Spinner dolphins use echolocation to find prey.


  1. Aquatic: related to water
  2. Parasites: tiny animals that live on dolphins’ skin

Questions and Answers

Question: Are spinner dolphins endangered?

Answer: Spinner dolphins are not currently endangered.

Learn More

Watch a video about the Spinner dolphins.