WATCH: A Megapod of Spinner Dolphins Displays Jaw-Dropping Acrobatics
A huge group of spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) has been captured on camera. Members of the megapod, consisting of thousands of dolphins, put on an incredible acrobatic display as they hunted for fish off the coast of Costa Rica.
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The footage was shown in an episode of the PBS series Spy in the Ocean 2: A Nature Miniseries. The series shows the hidden lives of wildlife using spy cameras. These dolphins were filmed using a spy dolphin, an animatronic bird drone that observed the megapod from the sky.
“Regarded as one of the most acrobatic of dolphins, spinner dolphins are well known for their habit of leaping from the water and spinning up to seven times in the air before falling back into the water,” says NOAA Fisheries on its website.
Spinner dolphins can be identified by their long snouts. They communicate using sound, clicks, and whistles, and they can usually be found swimming in deep, tropical, offshore waters.
Why do they put on such a gymnastic display? Experts do not know for certain, but the spins are believed to be for signalling and communication throughout the pod. The spins could also be a technique for removing parasites. Another theory is that dolphins spin as a courtship or social activity. Once one dolphin starts to spin, others follow suit, making experts believe there could be a playful element to their acrobatics.
Love dolphins? Check out these dolphins swimming through bioluminescence in California.