Facts about Bottlenose dolphins

Fact file


Scientific name: Tursiops truncates
Family: Delphinidae
Range: Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans
Habitat: Coastal to oceanic
Status: Common
Population: In excess of 1 million
Diet: Squid, fish and crustaceans
Length: 2-3.8m
Weight: 150-650kg


Identification


Flukes: Grey above and below with a notch in the middle, swept back leading edges and fairly straight trailing edges that are curved at the edges
Dorsal fin: Grey, convex on the leading edge, and strongly concave on the trailing edge
Flippers: Grey flippers with curved leading edges and fairly pointed tips
Shape of head: Beak usually grey on the upper side and paler on the lower. Forehead is grey
Body: Dark grey cape extends from shoulders to beyond the dorsal fin, with lighter grey area cross the middle flank and a paler region along the lower flank and underside
Group size: Inshore groups of 2-15 individuals, offshore groups commonly average 20 with up to several hundred on occasion
Behaviour: Commonly bow-ride, wake-ride, breach and lobtail. Inshore animals rarely dive for more than 3-4 minutes, but offshore animals may do so

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