Bottlenose Dolphin

Tursiops truncatus
Image by NASAs.

Bottlenose dolphins are the most common type of dolphin.

They inhabit warm and temperate waters all over the world. They live in pods of ten to thirty members although group sizes can vary dramatically from one to more than one-thousand!

Dolphins often work together to hunt schools of fish. They enjoy small fish, crustaceans, and squid. They search for prey by using echolocation which is similar to sonar. They make clicking sounds and listen for the echo to work out the location, shape, and size of nearby items. They also use this clicking for communication as well as whistles from their blowhole, sounds through body language, leaping through the water, and slapping their tails on the water.

Dolphins are extremely intelligent, they are popular in aquarium shows, television programs, and are even trained by the military to detect sea mines or to detect and mark enemy divers. Adults range from 2 to 4 metres in length and weigh between 150 and 650kgs. Males are on average slightly longer and heavier than females. They live to around 40 years. Births occur all year round however it is more common in the warmer months. Females usually give birth to one pup every two to six years.