The most common dolphins seen on the Emerald Coast are the bottlenose dolphins.
In the event you didn’t know or aren’t old enough to remember, the old TV show Flipper (1964-1967) showcased bottlenose dolphins. In fact, the vast majority of that show was also shot in Florida! Goes to show how the natural beauty of the state has long been attracting people.
Back to the 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 the injured. 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.
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 the humans as well. For a true experience with a dolphin you can go to Gulf World in Panama City or the Gulfarium on Okaloosa Island and actually swim with a dolphin and take pictures.
Come down to Destin and stay with us at Sea Oats Motel. The dolphins can’t wait to see you and neither can we!
For more information, questions or reservations feel free to call 833-803-3320!