Spinner Dolphins, Big Island, Hawaii
These Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) were photographed off the coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. Spinner dolphins, which are the smallest of the Hawaiian dolphins, are known to hunt cooperatively at night, feeding on shrimp, fish, and squid. Spinner dolphins socialize and rest in shallow coves during the day, preferring shallow bays that have sandy bottoms and are less than 50 meters in depth. As spinner dolphins transition between rest and feeding, they tend to leap and spin. We snorkeled with these wild dolphins while they were socializing and were amazed at how much they were communicating with each other through squeaks and whistles. We also saw them spin and leap out of the water before they left the bay.