Diet: Dolphins are predators and eat fishes, squids,
and crustaceans. Their diets can vary based on their environment
and the available food sources. Adult bottlenose dolphins
eat 4-5% of their body weight each day. A nursing mother
bottlenose dolphin can eat as much as 8% of her body weight
Bottlenose Dolphins are aquatic mammals.
Other Names: Bottlenose Dolphin, Atlantic
Bottlenose Dolphin, Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin,
Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Grey porpoise, Black porpoise,
Size: Male bottlenose dolphins tend to
be longer and heavier than their female counterparts.
Bottlenose dolphins are approximately 8 feet long
and weigh 440-660 lbs.
Habitat: Bottlenose dolphins can be found
in temperate and tropical waters throughout the
world. They prefer coastal waters that are warm
Status: Not Endangered
Senses: Bottlenose Dolphins have an acute sense
of hearing. They have acute vision both in and out of
the water. Their sense of touch is well developed. Bottlenose
Dolphins have a limited sense of smell. Bottlenose Dolphins
use echolocation for navigation, it can be thought of
as similar to a built in radar system.
Description: Bottlenose Dolphins are dark grey
on the top side, and they vary to a light grey on the
underside. Bottlenose Dolphins have a layer of blubber
that makes up approximately 18-20% of their body weight.
Bottlenose Dolphins produce clicks and sounds that
resemble whistles, moans, trills, grunts, and squeaks.
They are able to communicate with their pod using
Did You Know?
Bottlenose Dolphins can jump out of the
water up to 20 feet into the air.
Hunting: Bottlenose Dolphins are highly social and
a pod of dolphins will often work together to herd a school
of fish, trapping them in shallow waters.
Gestation: Bottlenose Dolphins carry their young
for 12 months. They typically breed for reproductive
purposes every 2-3 years.
Birth: Bottlenose Dolphin calves are born tail
first. They are 3-4 feet long and weigh about 44 lbs.
Calves: Calves will nurse for up to 18 months,
and they typically stay with their mother for 3-6 years.
Sexual Maturity: Female Bottlenose Dolphins
sexually mature at 5 to 12 years of age, while male
Bottlenose Dolphins mature at 10 to 12 years of age.
Life Span: Bottlenose Dolphins can live in excess
of 40 years. Dolphins can suffer from viral, bacterial,
and fungal infections. In addition, they can have many
diseases found in humans including: stomach ulcers, skin
diseases, tumors, heart disease, urogenital disorders,
and respiratory disorders. Some shark species including:
tiger sharks, dusky sharks, and bull sharks all prey on
Bottlenose Dolphins. Pollution and habitat destruction,
also impacts the life span of Bottlenose Dolphins. Fishing
nets can also cause the deaths of Bottlenose Dolphins.
The nets trap the Dolphins and they are unable to get
to the surface for air.
Social Structure: Bottlenose Dolphins are highly
social and they live in large groups called pods. The
size of the pod can vary, and can be influenced by the
depth and openness of the habitat. Several pods may
temporarily join together to form a larger group called
a herd or aggregation. The larger adult males in a pod
will patrol the outer edge of the pod to provide protection.
Bottlenose Dolphins can develop strong social bonds
with other dolphins in their pod.
Athleticism: Bottlenose Dolphins can swim up
to 18 mph, and jump up to 20 feet out of the water.
Unusual: Bottlenose Dolphins can voluntary breathers.
They breathe when they are half sleep, during the sleeping
cycle, one brain hemisphere remains active, while the
other hemisphere shuts down. The active hemisphere controls
the dolphin's surfacing and breathing behavior. The
Bottlenose Dolphin typically surface to breathe 2-3
times per minute, but can remain under water for up
to 20 minutes.