Bottlenose dolphin

Tursops truncatus


  • Domain Eukarya: This contains organisms that are single or multicellular that contain a nucleus.
  • Kingdom Animalia: All members of the Kingdom Animalia are multicellular, heterotrophs, and have a nucleus in each cell.
  • Phylum Chordata: Dolphins have three germ layers. Germ layers are each of the three layers of cells (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm) that are formed in the early embryo. embryo is an unborn/unhatched offspring in the process of development.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata: Has bones and or cartilagionous. Large digestive glands, liver, and pancreas to make the digestive system. Has to different genders, male and female.
  • Class Mammalia: Dolphins have hair at some point during their development. Dolphins are polygamous, which means they two different genders. They have mammary glands. mammary glands are milk-producing gland of female dolphins.
  • Order Cetacea: Have a blubbler layer filled with fat and oil; telescoped skull bones; external nares (which is a blowhole) on the top of its head. Dolphins have a fusiform( means tapering at both ends; spindle-shaped); streamlined( means design or provide with a form that presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water, increasing speed and ease of movement) body shape; paddle-shaped front limbs.
  • Family Delphinidae: Dolphins teeth are peg-like shapped, circular in cross section and a well-formed beak.
  • Genus Tursiops: This Genus only includes the Bottlenose dolphin.
  • Species: Tursops truncatus

General Description

Height: none.

Length: The length of a dolphin can be up to 13 feet long.

Weight: The average weight of a dolphin is around 660 pounds.

Color: Bottlenose dolphins are normally black to a light gray on their sides, and their bellies are usually white, sometimes with a slight pink hue.

Natural Range: Bottlenosed dolphins typically occupies waters with surface temperatures between fifty-ninety degrees F. Although some migrate seasonally, they are typically found in subtropical, tropical, and warm temperate waters.

Diet: Bottlenose dolphins that are inshore typically feed on fish and invertebrates that are near the shoreline. Meanwhile deep water Bottlenosed dolphins are typically feeding on squid and pelagic fish. U.S bottlenosed dolphins normally feed of Atlantic croakers. 'spot' fish, and silver perch. While Bottlenosed dolphins in South Africa normally eat African massbankers, olive grunters, and pandora. These dolphins typically choose prey between 5-30 cm in length long.

Habitat Description: Bottlenosed dolphins are found in bays, estiaroes, sounds, open shorelines and large, estuarine rivers. Almost anywhere except polar waters.

Predators: The most common predator of the bottlenosed dolphin is a large shark. For an example a bull shark, tiger shark, or dusky sharks.

Physical Adaptations

  • flexible tail, horizontal flukes. used for swimming so it can get to it's prey, air, and (away) predators.
  • flippers help for steering and balance.
  • They can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes so they can be underwater for a long time to catch their prey.
  • Adjust to water temperature because of blubber so it is never to cold or to warm for them.
  • Good hearers, they can hear high pitch noise which helps them can catch their prey.
  • Bottlenose dolphins use echolocation because of their bad eye sight. So they can still catch their prey.

Behavioral adaptations

  • Swim in schools which is groups of dolphins swimming together for protection and working together for surviving. So if their is an injured dolphin in the school the other dolphins will assist it.

  • When giving birth the mother normally goes close to the top of the water surface so when the newborn dolphin gets out it can quickly take it's first breath
  • When two or more dolphins accept each other they do parallel swimming
  • Make different noises to communicate and sometimes for help.
  • They catch prey individually so they can eat it themselves.
  • They participate in fission-fusion societies in which subgroups frequently join and/ or leave the main group of other dolphins.


Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). Bottlenose dolphin. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., pp. 266-267). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Jenkins, J. 2009. "Tursiops truncatus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at

Myers, P. (2001, October 11). Animalia animals. Retrieved March 12, 2015, from Animal Diversity Web website:

Range map [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from