Bottlenose dolphins are marine mammals that prefer to live in tropical and temperate oceans with mild temperatures around our planet. They are very social creatures that like to live and hunt in groups or "pods". The Bottlenose dolphin is found around the entire coastline of Australia. It is not uncommon to see these dolphins sharing the wave with surfers.
- Weight - From 136 kilograms to 640 kilograms
- Length - from 2 metres to 4 metres
- Lifespan - 40 to 60 years
Bottlenose Dolphin - scientific name Tursiops
The average mature growth length of Bottlenose dolphins is between 3 to 4.2 metres. They come in different shapes, colours and sizes. They have a short stocky snout with a sharp crease between the snout and forehead. They have long, slender, pointy flippers. Their dorsal fin which is located in the centre of their body is usually dark grey, with a prominent curved back. Having its own unique dorsal fin and shape that usually has scarring together with varying notches helps to identify individual Bottlenose dolphins. Their colour goes from light grey to nearly black on the back and sides, fading to white on the stomach. Occasionally you will find spots on the stomach and sides. Located in each jaw you will find 18 - 24 pairs of string teeth.
Interesting Bottlenose Dolphin Facts
- They like to blow bubbles
- They swim in pods of between 10 - 15
- They can reach speeds of up to 50 kph
- They can dive to 250 metres
- They can breathe underwater for 7 minutes
- They squeak and whistle to communicate
Bottlenose Dolphin Mating and Breeding
The Bottlenose dolphins have a life expectancy of up to 50 years. At around 10 years of age is when they reach sexual maturity and then mate all year round.
Every 2 - 3 years the female gives birth after a gestation period of 12 months. Her calf is born tail first so as to ensure it does not drown. Once the calf is born the mother will take her to the surface for its first breath. The calf stays in close proximity to its mother for its first 4 years whilst suckling for the first 6 months. Most females stay with their pods for the entirety of their lives while the male dolphins will explore more when they reach a mature age.
Bottlenose Dolphin Population Australia
Fortunately, the Bottlenose dolphin is not on the endangered species list with approximately 600,000 of their species found globally.
What Do Bottlenose Dolphin Eat
Because the Bottlenose Dolphin is found in all oceans on the planet their diet and feeding patterns vary. They are social and also feed together. Some of their diets include crab, squid, octopus, organisms and fish that swim on the floor of the ocean. Even though they have a large number of teeth they swallow their prey whole or break them up by shaking the fish apart. Bottlenose dolphins are clever hunters and as a group, they will combine to capture their prey.