Bottlenose Dolphins belong to the Delphinidae family of dolphins. These are small whales and belong to the group of dolphins known as toothed whales. These have well adapted themselves to the marine environment but still they come to the surface to breathe. For the breathing purpose they have blowhole on top of their heads.
These species are named as bottlenose dolphin because they have a short and rounded snout, which resembles to a bottle. Their neck is more flexible compared to the other oceanic dolphins. They have about (18 to 26) pairs of sharp and conical teeth, which is present on each side of its jaw. These dolphins vary in their color but are usually of light gray to slate gray. Moreover, they have pinkish gray color on their belly. The flippers of these species are pointed and are of moderate length. These dolphins can grow up to a size of (8 to 12) feet in length and weigh up to 650 kg. The males are found to be larger than the females. These species can travel up to a speed of about 35 km/hr.
These dolphins are found mainly in the tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. They can be also seen in the shallow and warm inshore waters of Red Sea and Indian Ocean. These species like to live in rivers, lagoons and in bays. These dolphins are very active in their behavior and can be seen chasing, making noises and touching each other in their group. They can also be seen slapping their tail or leaping out of the water.
What do Bottlenose Dolphins Eat
These sea creatures are known to eat about 15 kilograms of food everyday and their food consists of squid, octopuses, shrimps, eels, squid and a variety of fishes. They are known to hunt in a group and attack on the herds of small fishes. Sometimes they slide out of the water in order to catch their prey. Moreover, they dive up to a depth of around 600 meters to catch their prey. They make whistling and clicking sounds, which help them to sense their prey or enemy up to the distance of 600 meters.
Breeding / Reproduction
The females of these species reach sexual maturity at the age of (5 to 10) years, whereas the females reach sexual maturity at the age of about 10 years. The gestation period in these species is around 12 months. These species mate all year round. The females have a calf in every (2 to 3) year. After their birth, the calf suckle the milk of their mother for about 18 months. The calf remains with their mother for about six years of age.
Bottlenose Dolphins are not in the endangered list of extinction as they are able to adapt themselves in different abrupt conditions. But their population has decreased due to pollution and climate changes. In the U.S. the hunting of these species is illegal and these species are in the list of protected species.