Dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is home to several species of dolphins. Additionally, there are over 35 different mammals that also call these waters home. This includes several species of dolphins, whales, and manatees. The Gulf of Mexico contains the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in the United States. While you may not see all of the species that make the Gulf their home, you have an excellent chance to get a glimpse of the bottlenose dolphin by booking a seat for dolphin tours aboard Odyssey Cruises.
There are many different ways to see and play with bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat, on the beautiful beaches and waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Boat cruises or tours are a common way to seek out dolphins. You may even prefer to get up close with these curious creatures while snorkeling. Any way you find them, these majestic animals will definitely be the highlight of your trip. For the best results, booking dolphin tours with Odyssey Cruises pretty much guarantees you’ll have an encounter as years of touring the Anclote River and the Gulf of Mexico have allowed Odyssey to elucidate popular dolphin spots.
Facts to Know During Dolphin Tours
The Bottlenose dolphin is gray to light gray with a white belly. Their bodies are streamlined to help propel them through the water. Their beak (also called a rostrum), contains 72 to 104 teeth. Dolphins are predators that dine on a variety of sea life such as fish, squid, and shrimp. Some dolphins will eat stingrays, shark, and crustaceans as well.
Bottlenose dolphins live to be around the age of 40 years old. The oldest dolphin in captivity lived to be 61 and lived at the Dolphin Conservation Center in Florida. Another interesting fact about the bottlenose is that they are known to establish relationships with animals outside their species.
As we mentioned, dolphins like to eat squid and fish. Occasionally they may eat crustaceans for some variety. Dolphins hunt in pods of 5 to 20 individuals. They can use bubbles to herd fish in the direction they wish. Fancier dolphins have even been known to use their tails to flip fish out of the water straight into their mouths.
Dolphin Watching on Your Dolphin tour
Dolphin watching is one of the best things to do while you are visiting the Gulf of Mexico. You can even get closer to a dolphin if you are in a smaller vessel like a kayak. Dolphins are known for playing with wakes from whales or big boats, but not smaller ships, so you don’t have to worry about a dolphin jumping into your boat.
While there are many boat tours you can take to see dolphins, Odyssey Cruises provides the best dolphin tours in the Tampa area. These aquatic mammals often play alongside their boats and ride the wakes. They are also known to ride the stern. You can see these powerful predators display their prowess by jumping up to 20 feet in the air!
Bottlenose dolphins love to play in the water. When they dive sometimes, they will flip their tail fins in the air. It is quite a sight to see when they leap out of the water. Dolphins often jump into the air to catch fish, but if you see a dolphin repeatedly jumping out of the water and slap their tail around, it may be a sign that the dolphin is frustrated and better off left alone. Most wild dolphins in the waters around beaches, like in Florida, are friendly and used to human interaction. Odyssey Cruises takes a set route where friendly dolphins are known to play. Remember to bring a camera, so you don’t miss any of the action on your dolphin tour.