Dolphins Encounter in Mauritius
Dolphins and whales are perhaps the most fantastic of all the creatures that live in the ocean. These mammals have always had a special place in man heart and mind. The dolphins – cheerful and playful symbol of intelligence and grace can be encountered on the west coat of Mauritius. The Dolphins, the Spinners and the Bottlenose, have made of the West Coast of Mauritius a place to rest and sleep before going to the deep sea to fish.
Dolphins lived in pods of around 20 individuals or more and can be observed swimming casually from Tamarin on their way to the deep sea off the coast of le Morne penninsula, early in the morning.
Check our exclusive dolphin watching excursions created for your pleasure.
The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most common and well-known dolphins. Recent molecular studies show it is in fact two species, the Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (T. aduncus). Bottlenose Dolphins inhabit warm and temperate seas worldwide.
Bottlenose Dolphins are grey in color and can be between 2 and 4 metres (6.6 and 13 ft) long, and weigh between 150 and 650 kilograms (330 and 1,400 lb). Their most distinguishing feature is the elongated snout, or rostrum which gives the animal its common name. Like all whales and dolphins, though, the snout is not the functional nose; rather, the functional nose is the blowhole on the top of its head.
Bottlenose Dolphins live in groups called pods that typically number about 15 dolphins, but group size varies from solitary bottlenose dolphins up to groups of over 100 or even occasionally over 1000 animals. Their diet consists mainly of small fish. Dolphin groups often work as a team to harvest schools of fish, but they also hunt individually.
Read more about bottle nose dolphins
The Spinner Dolphin is dark grey, with darker patches in the tail stock, back and throat. Usually it has creamy-white patch on the belly though this varies considerably. The beak is distinctively long and thin, with a dark tip. The fins too are lengthy for dolphins of this size. The dorsal fin is erect and even leans forward in older males found in the eastern Pacific. However this description has to be described as a little loose -Spinner Dolphins are the most variable in form of all cetaceans.
Adults have varied in size from 129 cm to 235 cm and weight from 23 kg to 78 kg. The gestation period is 10 months. Individuals reach maturity at 4-7 years (females) and 7-10 years (males). Longevity is unknown.
Spinners congregate in groups that vary from just a few dolphins to great schools numbering in the thousands. They are consistently acrobatic and keen bow-riders. The reason for the animal’s spinning is not known. One suggestion is that the great cauldron of bubbles created on exit and re-entry may act as a target for echolocation by other individuals in the school. It may also be simply play-acting. Individuals have been spotted completing at least 14 spinning jumps in quick succession.
Read more about Spinners Dolphins