business. The Bottlenose in our area do not seem to be as interested in interacting with us in our boats or in the water, but they are very tolerant and comfortable with having us quietly and respectfully observe them as they feed, play or travel.
The Spotted dolphins are the most interactive dolphins here in Panama. They seem to be equally curious about our boats and the people in them. They will often come swimming straight towards our boat to play in the waves, ride the bow, some days they have spent over 2 hours swimming alongside the boat. They are also the species we have the most luck with when we swim with the dolphins. There is nothing like having a dolphin pass by and look you straight in the eye or mimic your swimming motions as you swim side by side.
It is impossible not to smile and feel joyful in the presence of the playful dolphins.
Their are no less than 7 species of Dolphins that can be found on the Pacific ocean side of Panama. On our tours we commonly see the friendly Pantropical spotted dolphins and the large Pacific Bottlenose dolphins. If we are lucky we may also see the Short-beaked common dolphins or the acrobatic Spinner dolphins, among others.
Spinner dolphins are most often found in deeper waters off the coast of Panama, but once in awhile they venture into the shallower gulf of Panama around the Pearl islands to show off their unique style of jumping. Spinner dolphins are called Spinners because when they leap out of the water, they twirl their body in a tight spinning motion as they jump. It is great fun to watch.
Spinner dolphins are small, slender dolphins, reaching up to 7 feet (2 meters) and weighing up to 170 lbs. (77 kg).
Once in a while we see the Short-beaked common dolphins on our tours. They are a medium sized dolphin. They can reach up to 9 feet long (2.7 meters) and weigh up to 440 lbs. (220 kg). They have a distinctive color pattern, dark gray on their backs and tail area and a light tan or yellow color on their flanks and white belly.
The Pantropical spotted dolphins are the species we see the most on our tours. Most often we find them out in open waters away from the islands, where they have better luck in finding their favorite food, small fish like sardines, herring and even flying fish. They are small dolphins ranging up to 6-7 feet (2 meters) and 250 lbs (114 kg).
They are known as Spotted dolphins because, even though they are born a solid gray color, as they mature they get small freckle-like white and black spots. The more spots the older the animal.
Bottlenose dolphins are the species most people think of when they think of a dolphin. They are the species most seen in captivity and in movies and TV. The Pacific bottlenose are one of the largest species of dolphins. The males can be up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) and weigh up to 1,400 lbs. (635 kg.) They are huge in comparision to the Spotted dolphins.
We often find small pods of Bottlenose dolphins around the Pearl islands. They will often come by the boat to check us out briefly before they go about their