This dolphin found throughout the world and also in
Australia, scientific name is Tursiops truncatus
Its name comes from its short rounded snout or "beak"
which resembles a bottle
The bottlenose dolphin can look very different depending
upon where it is seen around the world.
Also inshore dolphins can appear different to the larger
"offshore" bottlenose dolphins
The size of the average bottlenose dolphin is 2.5 to 3
meters Males are a little longer than females.
Their average weight is around 200 kg but large males
can grow up to 650 kg
These sleek streamlined dolphins general colour is
dark - medium grey on their backs fading to a light grey,
white on the belly and on their bottom jaw
So when looking from above the dark colours blend in with
the sea floor or dark deeper water, and when viewed from
below the lighter colour blends in with the sky or lighter
coloured surface water.
Bottlenose dolphins look like they are smiling, and there
is a "sharp" crease between their snout and the top of
their head, as well as other lines around the face region
They have a single blow hole at the top of their head.
DISTRIBUTION & LOCATION
They are found all over the world and all around Australia
in cold temperate to tropical waters
Around Australia they are found in bays and waterways,
surf coasts, lagoons and also in the open sea
HABITS SOCIETY ETC
Bottlenose dolphins are very sociably creatures living in
a group known as a pod.
The number of dolphins to a pod varies significantly.
Inshore populations in southern Australian waters generally
range from 5 to 20 with offshore groups being much larger,
up to 60
Within the pod there is a strong sense of unity or
bonding, with lots of interaction (touching, chasing,
noises etc) between members happening constantly.
Bottlenose dolphins have the sense of Sight
(both in and out of the water),
Hearing (Very good),
Taste (they have taste buds)
(they can sense water moving over its body as well as
touch and rub each other with fins etc they have a
limited sense of smell.
By creating clicking sounds (pulses of ultrasonic sound)
and waiting for it to "bounce back" off objects, dolphins
can create a "picture" of their surrounds (depending on
how long it takes for the click echo to return)
This echo-location is primarily used for the locating and
hunting of prey.
SWIMMING & DIVING & JUMPING
Dolphins swim by moving their flukes (tail fins) up and down
They can swim up to 37 km/hour but generally "cruise" at
around 10 km/hour
Generally their dives last up to 3-4 minutes or less,
especially in coastal waters, but dives in the ocean
have been recorded at up to 15 minutes
Coastal dolphins eat a variety of fish species, squid,
shrimp, octopus, krill etc depending upon what is
available at that location.
The average adult eats around 15kg a day and they do not
chew their food, they swallow the fish whole
Co-operating together they sometimes trap schools of fish
between the shore and their own bodies, or encircling or
"rounding up" schools of fish to then dive into the
tightly packed fish to eat.
Dolphins can live over 30 years (up to 50 years has been
They start to breed around the age of 10
Bottlenose dolphins can breed at any time of the year.
A female is pregnant for a year, the calf is then born in
the water, the young then suckles for about 1 1/2 years and
the young stays with the mother for a further 4 years
At birth the calf can be anything from 0.7 meter to 1.3
in length and up to 30 kg
Accidental capture in fishing nets, (trawling, drift and
Destruction and/or degradation (Pollution and rubbish)
Over fishing is reducing feed for the dolphins
Over zealous tourist activities
Diseases and parasites
Predators such as killer whales and sharks such as tiger
and dusky sharks
Human hunting for their oils, skins etc