Fun Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Nov 16, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin facts that they are always found in a pod of 13-15 and are a very social animal.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

Dolphins are some of the most sophisticated beings on the planet. The Atlantic spotted dolphin, Stenella frontalis, is a variant of this marine dolphin species found in the Atlantic ocean. These Atlantic spotted dolphins are not to be missed with their beautiful spots all over the body. This North Atlantic species prefer living in groups and are always near the surface. This north Atlantic breed of dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphins, are extremely social and always are a treat to be with. There are two species of the spotted dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin and Pantropical spotted dolphin. The Pantropical spotted dolphins are found in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans as well as the Persian Gulf and red sea. The Atlantic spotted dolphin, Stenella frontalis, however, is only found in the warm water regions of the Atlantic ocean, mostly away from the Pantropical dolphins. The Pantropical spotted dolphins are again categorized into two groups - the offshore Pantropical spotted ones and the coastal Pantropical spotted dolphins found in the Gulf of Mexico. It is hard to physically separate them at the first glance, as they are always found in big groups of the same species and never break all the formations of the groups and are distributed evenly. The Atlantic spotted dolphins, living in the Bahamas, are always near humans and are habituated with human contact. The communication between them and people near the surface is also streamlined. People are always fascinated by the way this big marine mammal swims in the ocean. Sometimes, the Atlantic spotted dolphins are targets of harpoons from the fisherman, and also get trapped in fishing nets but those practices have died down in recent times. But the threat of fisheries still persists. The warm and friendly behavior of the Atlantic spotted dolphins should be appreciated, rather than hurting these innocent species.

You can also discover more marine life like the common dolphins and spinner dolphins who are some of the smartest animals on the planet.

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Atlantic spotted dolphin?

This dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, falls under the species of dolphin, and is found in the Atlantic ocean.

What class of animal does an Atlantic spotted dolphin belong to?

The scientific name of the Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, tells us the genus of the species. It falls under the class of Mammals in the Animalia category.

How many Atlantic spotted dolphins are there in the world?

Although the population of the Atlantic spotted dolphins is unknown at the moment, it is estimated by scientists that the population is over 77000 Atlantic spotted dolphins in the US waters.  

Where does an Atlantic spotted dolphin live?

Atlantic spotted dolphins are found in the warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical waters of the Atlantic ocean.

What is an Atlantic spotted dolphin's habitat?

The Atlantic spotted dolphins prefer living in the waters which are warm or temperate and need to be offshore locations. They also like tropical regions as it is too hot for them. Tropical and temperate regions of the Atlantic ocean are filled with the Atlantic spotted dolphins. They also like the water along the continental shelf where the water is 20-250 m deep. A continental shelf is an area below the ocean's surface at the edge of a continent. The Atlantic spotted dolphins are also found in scarce numbers in deeper oceanic waters. Quite a big population of the fish is quite abundantly found in the Bahamas where they live near the shore instead of offshore and this has made it easier for people to study them. But this has also made it easier for the fisheries to capture the Atlantic spotted dolphins for fishing or selling purposes.

Who do Atlantic spotted dolphins live with?

The Atlantic spotted dolphins in coastal areas are found in small groups of 5-15 dolphins. But in tropical areas and marine offshore areas, they are found to join a larger population of dolphins up to 100. A mixture of breeds of the species of the dolphins are found in these groups and are often categorized by sex or age among themselves. When the food is abundant, they are also found feeding alongside common and bottlenose dolphins.

How long does an Atlantic spotted dolphin live?

On average, the Atlantic spotted dolphins' lives range from 30-50 years.

How do they reproduce?

Females of the Atlantic spotted dolphins reach sexual maturity at an age that ranges from 8-15 years. After that, they give birth to one calf every one to five years. Mothers nurse their calves for the next five years until the calves are able to live on their own. This highly intelligent animal shows motherly care the same as humans. In the Bahamas, many scientists have studied the reproduction cycle of the females and the care for their calves. They have found the gestation period of the females to be 11-12 months, giving birth to young Atlantic spotted dolphins every one to five years.

What is their conservation status?

Fisheries of large scale catch these big fishes in their fishing nets sometimes, but that is a rare phenomenon. The Atlantic spotted dolphins are not deemed under threat by the IUCN red list. But they do get killed or injured if they get entangled in the gillnets and purse seines of the large-scale fisheries.  Food bait has also been used by fisheries and harpoon hunters to kill these magnificent animals. The conservation status is Least Concern at the moment. Although, we should come together to make people aware of the conservation of the mammal, not only for their lives but the conservation of ours too.

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Fun Facts

What do Atlantic spotted dolphins look like?

The Atlantic spotted dolphins have a robust body with a tail. They have a curved dorsal fin in the middle part of their back. They have a long to medium beak of white tip coloration and have a distinctive rounded forehead, a melon, to collect sounds from the environment, the same as any cetaceans. The color patterns on their bodies change with age and location. The calves start the same as any other dolphins, gray colored with a white underbelly. The number of spots also changes with age. And the flippers, dorsal fin, and tail flukes are not spotted at all and are of solid dark gray color. The calves can be mistaken for a small bottlenose dolphin, but around their first birthdays, they start developing spots on their backs and increases with age.

The spots on the back of an Atlantic spotted dolphin starts showing according to their ages.

How cute are they?

Dolphins are a very cute species and are very approachable because of their behavior towards humans.

How do they communicate?

The mode of communication for the Atlantic spotted dolphins is usually with sounds. But they also use another way of communication - by blowing holes through their blowholes.

How big is an Atlantic spotted dolphin?

The length of adult Atlantic spotted dolphins range from 66-90 in (1.-2.2 m). The length of a calf is around 47 in.

How fast can an Atlantic spotted dolphin swim?

These are acrobatic dolphins and swimming is one of the best things they do. They can dive to depths of up to 40–60 m and often surf in the waves created by vessels. They are quick swimmers and swim at a similar pace of 8.2-11.2 m/s like the bottlenose dolphins.

How much does an Atlantic spotted dolphin weigh?

The Atlantic spotted dolphin's weight range from 290-310 lb (130-140 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Different names for the male and female of the species are not provided.

What would you call a baby Atlantic spotted dolphin?

A baby Atlantic spotted dolphin is known as a calf.

What do they eat?

The Atlantic spotted dolphins have 30-42 pairs of teeth and are mostly known to feed on small fish, bottom-dwelling invertebrates, and cephalopods like squid and octopus. They are known to dive up to 200 ft and hold their breath for 10 minutes. They use their beak to eat hidden fish and squid from under the sea bed. Usually, the pod hunts collectively at night, trap their prey by circling around them.

Are they dangerous?

The dolphins collectively are very social and playful mammals. Their intelligence and behavior make them one of the most human-friendly wild beings in the world. They are often seen riding in the waves and perform acrobatic leaps behind a boat just for the fun of it.

Would they make a good pet?

Dolphins can thrive best in their natural habitat and should not be kept as a pet in any circumstances. To know more about them, traveling to the Bahamas and exploring the mammals in their natural habitat is the best way to connect.

Did you know...

Dolphins are eaten by bigger animals than them. Small species of dolphins and calves are eaten by large species of sharks. Whales and killer whales that are at the top of the food chain feed on small dolphins too.

Which dolphins live in the Atlantic Ocean?

There are five types of dolphins found in the Atlantic ocean, namely the Atlantic Spotted Dolphin, Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin, Chinese River Dolphin, Clymene Dolphin, and Pantropical Spotted Dolphin.

Are dolphins smarter than humans?

Dolphins are considered to be the most intelligent animal in the world. Dolphins have also excelled in all intelligence-based tests and scientists have suggested that the intelligence of the dolphins is only second to that of humans.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the Amazon river dolphin or fin whale.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our dolphin jumping out of water coloring pages.

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small fish, small invertebrates, and cephalopods

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

290-310 lb (130-140 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

temperate and tropical areas of the atlantic ocean, western end of the gulf stream

Where Do They Live?

us east coast, Bahamas, brazil, the azores, the canary islands, and gabon

How Long Were They?

66-90 in (1.-2.2 m)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Stenella frontalis

What Do They Look Like?

Dark gray with white spots

Skin Type

Smooth and rubbery

What Are Their Main Threats?

humans in the fisheries by captivating them, other big whales and sharks in the ocean

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

Read full bio >
Read the DisclaimerFact Correction