The Delphinoidea Family
The Dolphin is the largest and most diverse family of cetaceans. It contains 26 recognised species and 6 toothed whales. Most forms of this family have functional teeth in both jaws, a melon with a distinct beak, smooth sloping foreheads, a single notch in the middle of their flukes and a dorsal fin. Of the 26 species of dolphin 13 tend to have long, well-defined beaks and streamlined slightly robust bodies. The remainder vary greatly in colour and patterns, the shape of their bodies, beaks and flippers, and dorsal fins. They do have similar short indistinct beaks and fairly robust bodies.
Short-snouted Spinner Dolphin
Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin
Atlantic Hump-backed Dolphin
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
Southern Rightwhale Dolphin
Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin
Northern Rightwhale Dolphin
Pacific White-sided Dolphin
Atlantic White-sided Dolphin
The Original Dolphin Watch
The Original Dolphin Watch began in 1988 at American Diving with tourist requesting a ride on our boats to go out and see our islands dolphins. Since that time the Dolphin watch has become the most popular form of eco-tourism on South Padre Island.
Dolphins and man have enjoyed a unique bond since the dawn of time and it is ironic that the dolphin’s most dangerous predator is man. Having a better understanding of dolphins is mankind’s first step in conservation of the dolphin.
Dolphins are a very social mammal . Their brains are proportionately bigger brains than human brains but they do not have as many folds.
Dolphins can tell how distant an object is and how solid it is by sending out sound waves and waiting for the echo to come back. This is called echo location and it takes place in the dolphin’s brain.
Dolphin copulation only lasts 15 to 30 seconds and takes place between males and females, males and males, females and females, young and old.
Dolphins are born with hair on their rostrum, or beaks, but it falls out shortly after birth.
Dolphins and porpoises are different marine mammals. Dolphins have back swept dorsal fins and a rostrum. Porpoises have blunter faces, triangular dorsal fins and are very rare in the Gulf of Mexico.
Female dolphins nurse their young 1 to 1 1/2 years and stay with their calves for three to five years.
Dolphins that live close to the coast weigh 300 to 400 hundred pounds and measure 8 feet long. Those living in deeper water can weigh twice as much and stretch out to 10 to 12 feet.
Dolphin are conscious breathers which means they must think about every breath they take. They can stay under water, without a breath for 8 to 12 minutes and they have been known to dive 1000 feet.
Dolphins make a wide variety of clicks, whistles, squeaks and squawks. One reason that people like dolphins is that their mouths are fixed in a permanent smile.
When dolphins get angry, their eyes get big and they butt into targets of their displeasure or slap them with their tails. Usually peaceful, inquisitive creatures, they are strong enough to kill sharks simply by charging into them. Dolphins in captivity have been known to rake people with their teeth, whack them with their tails and although rarely, pin trainers on the bottom of their tanks.
It is easy to find the dolphins with our boats as we have over 300 year round resident dolphins that live in the Lower Laguna Madre. Come see us for what will surely be a fun and educational tour. We guarantee it!!
The Original Dolphin Watch at the Sea Ranch Marina
33256 Park Road 100 Suite 104, South Padre Island, Texas 78597
Telephone (956) 761-4243 – Fax (956) 761-6039