The bottlenose dolphin is the most studied and well known of all cetaceans. This is primarily due to its adaptability in captive environment, such as research facilities and marine parks which allow us to study its movements. The Bottlenose Dolphin is extremely famous for its appearance in the TV show Flipper!
The Bottlenose Dolphin In Detail :
- PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION The bottlenose dolphin has a long and robust body shape, with a pronounced stubby beak . Because five of the seven neck vertebrae are not fused together as in other dolphin species, the neck of the beautiful bottlenose dolphins is more flexible. They have about 40-48 sharp conically-shaped teeth in both the upper and lower jaw.
- COLOUR The color of bottlenose dolphins may range from light to dark lead gray, with lighter shading on the sides, and a white, sometimes pink to pinkish-gray belly.
- FINS AND FLUKES The dorsal fin is triangular, curved and moderate in size, up to 35 cm in height, and located near the middle of the back. The flukes are proportional, curved, with a deep median notch, and are 65-80 cm from tip to tip. Their flippers are pointed and of moderate length.
- LENGTH AND WEIGHT Adult bottlenose dolphins can reach upto 4 meters (12 feet) in length, and can weigh as much as 650 kg (1,430 pounds). However, in the Algarve their weight seems to be limited to about 350 kg (770 pounds). Males are typically larger than females.
- FEEDING These dolphins may hunt and feed individually or in a group, chasing fish against the water surface. They consume about 8-15kg (15-30 pounds) of food each day. Their diet includes a variety of fish species, but also squid and crustaceans.