Dolphins are beautiful, charismatic animals and one of the largest inhabitants of the Chesapeake Bay. But we know very little about them. When, where and why do they visit the Bay? We need your help to find out! The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is common along the U.S. Atlantic coast. They are generally spotted in the Chesapeake Bay during the summer with reports of dolphins seen leaping in the air or bow-riding boats. They have a gray body and are named “bottlenose” after their short, stubby beaks. Adult bottlenose dolphins can range in size from 300-1200 pounds and reach 9 to 12 feet in length. They feed on a variety of prey, including fish and squid.
Dr. Helen Bailey and her team at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, are studying how often dolphins actually come into the Chesapeake Bay, how long they spend here, what areas of the Bay they are using and why.