Atlantic/Common Bottlenose Dolphin

ANIMAL:
Atlantic/Common Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus

Type of Animal:
Ocean Dolphin

Habitat:
Temperate/subtropical/tropical waters (offshore & coastal)-harbors, bays, gulfs, estuaries, brackish rivers/river basins, tidal creeks, inlets, open oceans, marshes, inland seas, channels, lagoons, island areas, intertidal zones, beach areas, seagrass beds

Location(s):
Temperate, subtropical, & tropical oceans worldwide

Appearance:
Gray coloration, short well-defined snout, males larger than females, dorsal fin in middle, light gray to almost white on belly, darker on top, coastal dolphins smaller than offshore dolphins but have larger flippers

Food/Diet:
Fish, squid, crustaceans, jellyfish, octopuses, cuttlefish

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in marine parks, aquariums, & zoos. Monitoring of certain populations more at risk.

Lifestyle:
Pods range from 5-30 individuals, sometimes up to 100. Many pods form superpods of around 1,000 dolphins. Pods of all females, juveniles, & calves common as well as all-male pods & mixed-sex pods. Male pairs also quite common w/ many males pair bonding, these pairs sometimes seen w/ just each other & other times in larger groups.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Bull
Female: Cow
Young: Calf
Group: Pod
 
Weight:
Male: 243-1,400 lbs
Female: 207-500 lbs
Young: 120 lbs

Gestation:
1 year 

Life Span:
40-50 years

Body Length:
Male: 7-13 ft
Female: 6-8 ft
Young: 3.5-4 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 2 ft
Female: 1.95 ft

Main predators are orcas/killer whales & sharks.
 
Track prey through echolocation & can make up to 1,000 clicking noises per second.
 
Calves born w/ whiskers that fall out soon after birth.
 
Can eat 5% of body weight per day.
 
Highly cooperative feeders, often encircling & herding prey together.
 
Can breach up to 16 ft out of water.
 
Sexually mature at 5 years old.

Fun Fact(s):
US Navy Marine Mammal Program trains these animals as well as California Sea Lions for different tasks-dolphins primarily for finding underwater mines & sea lions for detecting enemy swimmers. Dolphins rely on biosonar & sea lions rely on underwater vision.
 
The Flipper series has made this species very famous as well as it being most common dolphin species in captivity.
 
Have very dark side to them-males have been known to commit infanticide in order to put females back into heat, sexual assault/gang rape not uncommon when females are in heat w/ 3-6 males ganging up on single female herding her away from group as well as beating/biting her, sexually aggressive males have been known to rape swimmers, & adult males sometimes kill porpoises/smaller dolphin species for fun (exact purpose not known).
 
Swim w/ dolphin programs very popular tourist attractions due to often friendly temperament.
 
Dolphins & whales are not mutually exclusive-all dolphins are whales, not all whales are dolphins. Dolphins type of toothed whale.
 
Known to be highly intelligent.

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