Spinner Dolphins of Islands and Atolls

  • Marc O. LammersEmail author
Part of the Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Marine Mammals book series (EBEMM)


Spinner dolphins, Stenella longirostris, occur globally in tropical and subtropical waters and form island-associated populations in many parts of the world. These populations are closely tied to island resources, relying on enhanced aggregations of mesopelagic prey and nearshore habitats to conduct a highly stereotyped daily behavioral cycle. To exploit these resources, spinner dolphins have adapted their social structure, foraging ecology, reproductive patterns, predator avoidance behavior, and communication in unique ways. Spinner dolphins are a gregarious species with individuals relying on the dynamics of the pod for nearly every aspect of their lives. Because of a daily tendency to visit the same coastal waters and engage in acrobatic displays, many populations have seen a steady rise in popular and commercial dolphin-watching by humans. This has led to management concerns about the potential impacts that chronic interactions may have on the dolphins’ ability to conduct normal daily behaviors.


Island-associated Diel cycle Social structure Foraging Resting Predator avoidance Acoustic signaling Acrobatic behavior Conservation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine SanctuaryKiheiUSA

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