Raja Ampat is home to large marine mammals like the Manta and Dugong, the area is also home to many dolphin species.
While it is very uncommon to encounter these on dives, a keen-eyed boat driver or dive guide will often spot large pods in the distance. When approving dolphins these pods by boat, they will playfully swim alongside the boat's bow and even surf the wake. It is also possible to get a quick snorkel session with these playful mammals.
While it can be challenging to identify the individual species from the surface, we will highlight a few of the species that have been spotted in the area.
The most commonly found dolphin in the region is the Common Bottlenose dolphin. These dolphins are incredibly intelligent and are known to use sound to communicate and hunt for their prey. This dolphin is the most studied species and the most encountered throughout the world due to their preference to stay closer to coastal areas. The Bottlenose gains its name from the short stubby shape of the snout. These dolphins are usually found in groups and mostly travel in tight group formations in a set direction with minimal variation. Watching a pod of Bottlenose is like watching a well-rehearsed group of synchronised swimmers.
Spinner dolphins have also been encountered in the area. This small dolphin is known for its acts of aerial acrobatics. They can leap out of the water and perform various spins and turns. While this is incredible to observe in the wild, experts believe this behavior is a reason. Many believe that the Spinner dolphin uses these ariel feats to communicate and even a way to remove any parasites from their bodies. The Spinner dolphin has a sleek and pointed form that allows it to travel fast and easily break the water's surface.
The Spotted Dolphin travels in large pods of up to 200 individuals. These playful dolphins enjoy surfing in the wake of passing boats and even swim along the boat's bow giving guests onboard a perfect opportunity to observe them from up close. As the name suggests, the Spotted dolphin is easily identified by the spots that form on their bodies as they age.
On your trip to Raja Ampat, keep a keen eye out for the signs of dolphins playing in the distance.
About Meridian Adventure Dive
Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba Divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.