Guam's Spinner Dolphins
The pods of Spinner Dolphins here on Guam are a true natural resource and should be protected by all. They bring in a great deal of money to the island through dolphin watching tours, and bring great joy to all that see them, local residents or visitors.
The spinner dolphin is named for its unique habit of leaping out of the water and spinning in mid-air, or flopping it's tail on the surface. This species tends to travel in large herds of between 10 and 100+ animals. At night they feed on organisms that rise toward the surface, such as small squid, lantern fish and small hake.
Unlike oceanic spinner dolphins, Guam's spinners are found close to shore in shallow coves and bays (see the RED areas on the map) during the day. In these important near shore habitats they rest, care for their young, avoid predators and engage in reproductive activities vital to their survival. Translation: they have lot's of sex.
Females reach sexual maturity at 5-12 years of age. Normally, adult females can give birth to a single calf every second or third year. Calves are weaned at 7 months of age or more. Although the maximum age is unknown, the spinner dolphin's lifespan is believed to be over 20 years. Exact population numbers are not known.
The Spinner Dolphin is usually dark gray, with darker patches in the tail stock, back and throat. Usually it has a creamy-white patch on the belly, though this varies considerably. Their beaks are distinctively long and thin, with a dark tip. The fins are lengthy for dolphins of this size. Spinner Dolphins are the most variable in form of all cetaceans. They often ride the vbow wave of boats and enjoy surfing in the wakes behind the boats also.
CAUTION: Don't try and get n the water to swim or snorkel with spinners. This is a guaranteed way to make them leave.
Note: All dolphin photos were taken by Tim Phlagman who is the owner of a dolphin watching boat, and he see's them every day!