Christmas Island National Park

The long-snouted spinner dolphin is a regular visitor to Christmas Island. It is famous for its spectacular acrobatic jumps.

Spinner dolphins are relatively small dolphins, weighing up to 80 kg. They travel in groups, feeding on squid, shrimp and small fish.

Spinners are extremely energetic and can easily leap several metres into the air. They get their name from their unusual jumping style, which involves repeatedly spinning along the length of their body in mid-air.

These aquatic athletes may perform up to seven rotations before splashing back into the water. No-one knows why they spin, but it might be to communicate with each other or to get rid of parasites.

Divers and snorkellers encounter spinner dolphins in the waters of Christmas Island. Their incredible leaps can often be seen from the shore as well.

Spinners love surfing in the bow waves created by vessels, so keep your eyes peeled when you’re travelling around the island by boat.

Scientific name

Stenella longirostris