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Osprey Cruises is a must when planning your vacation activities in South Padre Island. Sight-seeing, dolphin watching and birding; deep-sea and bay fishing; pirate adventure cruises and high speed thrill rides; all aboard our fleet of 6 US Coast Guard certified vessels.
Dolphin watch facts
The South Padre Island area is home to several hundred Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. The dolphins are native to this area and are non-migratory, meaning they inhabit South Padre and the Laguna Madre year-round. One of the most popular, year-round activities in South Texas is to take a Dolphin Watch/nature/sight-seeing trip aboard our boat, the Osprey. Our Sea Life Safari Cruise is an exciting and educational boat trip available for vacationers and visitors to South Padre Island. Bring your camera!
Atlantic bottlenose dolphin
- Dolphins are very intelligent and social animals. Often, they will approach our boats, seemingly interacting with our guests, often performing acrobatic stunts and hunting for fish in small pods.
- When dolphins hunt, they usually gather into small groups and work together to round up a group of fish either into a tight ball or by forcing them into the shallows. They take turns feeding and can eat 15 to 30 lbs. of fish in one day.
- The Atlantic bottlenose’s ability to hunt for fish in cooperative pods places them near the top of the food chain in our local ecosystem.
- Dolphins are very quick and can reach speeds approaching 40 mph.
- They love to surf and play. Often, they will ride the bow of our vessels as we tour the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre bay; they may even surf the wake behind our boats.
- Atlantic bottlenose dolphin can be found throughout the world, mostly in temperate waters. The bottlenose dolphins native to South Padre Island generally grow to be between 7 and 9 feet in length and can weigh up to 550 lbs, though 400 – 500 lbs. is more typical.
- South Padre’s bottlenose dolphins have an average reported lifespan of around 20 – 25 years, with females generally outliving males. There are, however, reported occurrences of dolphin living to be over 40 years in age.
- The only predators South Padre’s dolphin face challenges from are humans. They are protected by the U.S. Marine Mammal Act and it is illegal to attempt to swim with or feed our dolphin.
- A dolphin is not the same as a porpoise. Dolphin have a beak (hence the name bottlenose), a larger dorsal fin and sharper teeth.
- Echolocation allows dolphin to bounce sound waves off of objects enabling them to determine distance, size and shape of the objects. Echolocation is also used as a form of communication. They use a series of high-pitched clicks that are unique to each dolphin.
Much remains unknown about these incredible marine animals. What remains certain is that you will have truly memorable experience watching South Padre Island’s bottlenose dolphin aboard our vessels on our Dolphin Watch/Sea Life Safari Cruise. Dolphin watching a fun activity you can experience not just in South Padre, but along the entire Texas gulf coast and is a must-see attraction.