The most common dolphins seen on the Emerald Coast are the bottlenose dolphins.
They have powerful bodies that are bluish gray on top and get lighter towards the belly. As adults they are typically 6 to 12 feet long and can eat more than 20 pounds of mullet, sheepshead, pinfish, flounder and marine invertebrates each day.
Bottlenose dolphins show a high degree of intelligence, have a wide range of vocalizations, and may cooperate in fishing or taking care of injured conspecifics. They are highly intelligent and have been known to communicate with each other when hunting or defending territory so they can work together.
Dolphins live both inshore and offshore. Inshore dolphins will usually travel in group of about 10 while offshore dolphins stay in much larger groups of up to 100.
There are actually three sounds that dolphins produce. The clicking sound they produce is not for communication but for sonar. Dolphins use this sonar to navigate, find food and avoid predators.
They also squawk and make pure tones when communicating. Dolphins group for protection and to care for any sick or injured member of the group. Often two males of the same age form a lifelong pair bond and spend the majority of their time together, helping each other find suitable food and mates.
We see plenty of dolphin pass right in front of us here at Sea Oats Motel.
Dolphins often frequent the waters here in Destin. Dolphin cruises are one of the most popular attractions for tourist staying with us. Though they may seem friendly it is not recommended to play with or feed the wild dolphins.
There are federal laws in place to protect the dolphins and humans. For a true experience with a dolphin you can got to Gulf World in Panama City or Gulfarium in Fort Walton and actually swim with a dolphin and take pictures.