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AT&T Dolphin Tales

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

(Tursiops truncatus)

The bottlenose dolphin is found in tropical and temperate seas worldwide, occuring in coastal and inshore areas and sometimes offshore over the edge of the continental shelf. It ranges in color from light gray to nearly black on the back and sides, fading to white on the belly. The belly and lower sides are sometimes spotted and a dark stripe extends from the eye to the flipper. There are large variations in color by geographic range.

Adults range in size from 6 to 12.5 feet and can weigh approximately 485 to 1,430 lbs. Sizes vary widely according to region: those in the Pacific are larger than those in the Atlantic. Length at birth is 3 to 4 feet, and birth weights can range from 30 to 50 lbs. This species of dolphin has 18 to 26 pairs of teeth in each jaw, and feeding behavior varies, ranging from cooperative foraging on schooling fish to individually chasing fish onto mud banks.

Fun Facts

  • The bottlenose dolphin is known for its wide range of vocalizations, including whistles, grunts, trills, squeaks and moans.
  • Courting involves rubbins, jaw clapping, stroking and nuzzling between male and female.
  • There are about 30 species of true dolphins: 26 marine species and four river dolphins.
  • It communicates with other dolphins in order to hunt efficiently, raise its young and guard against predators.
  • This mammal can hold its breath for an average of 8 to 10 minutes and for a maximum period of about 12 minutes.
  • Download full fact sheet

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