Bottlenose dolphin, Bottle-nosed dolphin, Bottlenosed dolphin, Atlantic bottlenose dolphin
The Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a wide-ranging marine mammal of the family Delphinidae. The common bottlenose dolphin is a very familiar dolphin species due to the wide exposure it receives in captivity in marine parks and dolphinaria and in movies and television programs. It is the largest species of the beaked dolphins. It inhabits temperate and tropical oceans throughout the world and is absent only from polar waters.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
A piscivore is a carnivorous animal that eats primarily fish. Piscivorous is equivalent to the Greek-derived word ichthyophagous. Fish were the die...
An aquatic animal is an animal, either vertebrate or invertebrate, which lives in water for most or all of its life. It may breathe air or extract ...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
Predators are animals that kill and eat other organisms, their prey. Predators may actively search for or pursue prey or wait for it, often conceal...
Animals with cosmopolitan distribution are those whose range extends across all or most of the world in appropriate habitats. Another aspect of cos...
Natatorial animals are those adapted for swimming. Some fish use their pectoral fins as the primary means of locomotion, sometimes termed labriform...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
Partial migration is when within a migratory species or even within a single population, some individuals migrate while others do not.
Common bottlenose dolphins are grey and males are generally larger and heavier than females. These dolphins have a short and well-defined snout that looks like an old-fashioned gin bottle, which is the source of their common name. Like all whales and dolphins, though, the snout is not a true nose; the nose instead evolved into the blowhole on the top of their heads. Their necks are more flexible than other dolphins' due to five of their seven vertebrae not being fused together like in other dolphins.
Common bottlenose dolphins are found in all of the world's seas, both tropical and temperate. Some populations remain in one area, while others migrate extensively. Some populations live offshore and some inshore. The coastal dolphins appear to adapt to warm, shallow waters. They can be found in harbors, bays, lagoons, estuaries, and occasionally in rivers. Offshore dolphins, however, are adapted to cooler, deeper waters.
Bottlenose dolphins are very social animals. Typically living in groups ranging from just a few individuals to more than 100, they form several types of groups, which include nursery groups, juvenile groups, and groups of adult males. They engage both in aggressive behavior, such as biting, ramming, and tail slapping; and behavior of bonding and acceptance behavior, such as rubbing and stroking. When feeding, Common bottlenose dolphin pods often work as a team to harvest schools of fish, though they also hunt individually. Dolphins search for prey primarily using echolocation, which is a form of sonar. They emit a vast range of squeaks, grunts, and whines, which are categorized into three groups: echolocation clicks, whistles, and pulse sounds. Dolphins also communicate through touch.
Common bottlenose dolphins are carnivores (piscivores) and usually eat eels, squid, shrimp, and a wide variety of fishes. Each day an adult can eat 15-30 pounds (6.8-13.5 kg) of food. They do not chew their food with their teeth. Instead, they swallow it whole and head first in order to avoid spines that feature on many of the fish they like to eat.
Bottlenose dolphins are polygamous and don't form pair bonds. Breeding can take place at any time of the year, but occurs mostly in the spring, with a smaller peak in the fall. The gestation period lasts for about 12 months, after which one calf is born. A female nurse until the calf reaches 18-20 months. These dolphins give birth every 3 to 6 years, females usually fall pregnant soon after weaning, and they can continue to give birth until their late forties. The calves can be born at any time during the year, with most born during the warmer months. Females usually reach reproductive maturity at an age between 5 and 10 years, and males between 8 and 13 years.
Climate change is the main threat to bottlenose dolphins, due to the warming of seas and oceans, sending dolphins to colder waters outside their habitual ranges. As these dolphins are coastal creatures, they are affected by pollution, heavy boat traffic, and habitat destruction. Humans are their largest predators. Hunting still occurs in Peru, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan, and other parts of the world. Fishing operations can injure or drown dolphins when they get accidentally caught in gear and nets.
According to the IUCN Red List, the minimum worldwide estimate for the Common bottlenose dolphin is 600,000 individuals. Populations have been estimated for a few specific areas: northern Gulf of Mexico - 52,000, the eastern coast of North America - 126,000, eastern tropical Pacific - 243,500, Hawaii waters - 3,215, coastal California waters - 323, Japanese waters - 168,000, western European continental shelf waters - 12,600, Mediterranean Sea - fewer than 10,000, Black Sea - at least several thousand. Overall, currently, Common bottlenose dolphins are classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
Dolphins are an important part of the ecosystem in that they are top-level predators, controlling populations of fish and squid and keeping the ecosystem balanced and healthy. The presence of bottlenose dolphins indicates a healthy marine ecosystem.