Bottlenose Dolphin

Tursiops truncatus


  • Domain Eukarya: This domain contains organisms who can be multicellular or unicellular. Their cells always have a nucleus
  • Kingdom Animalia: All organisms in Kingdom Animalia are multicelluar. They are also heterotrophs meaning they rely directly or indirectly on other organisms for nourishment. Animals also don not have cell walls in their cells.
  • Phylum Chordata: All have bilateral symmetry, usually have an endoskeleton made of bones or cartilage.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata: Can only move using muscles attached to the endoskeleton, have a heart with 2-4 chambers,and mostly with two sexes.
  • Class Mammalia: All mammals have hair in one period of their lives, but most mammals have ehair their whole lives. Mammals are typically identified by the kind of teeth they have. Most mammals are either polygynos(one male mates with many females) or promiscuous (both males and females have many mates in a reproductive season).
  • Order Cetacea: Aminimls in this order are only aquatic, usually are white, black, gray, bluish-gray, or pink in color, and many are spotted, mottled, streaked, or boldly patterned, and only use about 12% of their air.
  • Family Delphinidae: Animals in the family Delphinidae usually have a easily spotted beak and a streamlined body. Also most have dprasal fins (which is the individual fin on the top or on the back of an animal). Also most delphinds live in shallow water of stay near the surface.
  • Genus Tursiops: Bottlenose dolphin
  • Species Tursiops truncatus: Bottlnose Dolphin

General Description:

  • Length: Full grown males are usually around 244 to 381 cm long and full grown females are usually about 228 to 366 cm long.
  • Weight: An average dolphin weighs about 330-1,435 pounds. But, is most commonly 660 pounds.
  • Natural Range: Bottlenose dolphins are found in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea.
  • Habitat: Bottlenose dolphins mostly live in warm and tropical waters. The coastal type in near shore waters which include harbors, bays, lagoons, and gulfs.The offshore type typically live in near the continental shelf which is an area in the ocean where the sea is shallow. They live near ocean islands.
  • Predators: The three main predators of the bottlenose dolphin are killer whales, tiger sharks, and the great white shark.

Physical Adaptations

  • The dolphin's smooth body with its flippers and dorsal dorsal fin adapt the bottlenose dolphin for ocean life. As the dolphin swims it uses its forelimbs to steer while the tall helps to stop.
  • Dolphins use sound to locate objects, this ability is called echolocation. They do this because sound travels better than light does, so it is easier to hear their surroundings than see them.
  • The streamlined body of a bottle nose dolphin has low friction in the water. And experiments have shown that his shape lowers friction allowing the dolphin to swim faster.
  • Like other mammals, a dolphins heart rate slows while diving.
  • Also, while diving blood is moved away from parts of the body that can tolerate low oxygen levels and redirects it towards the hear and brain which m=need a constant flow of oxygen.

Behavioral Adaptations

  • To sleep the bottlenose dolphins rest on side of their brain while the other just reduces its activity so while they are not fully consious they can still come up to breathe.
  • Bottlenose dolphins usually work together while hunting and catching fish. In open waters, a pod sometimes surrounds a large school of fish and forces it in to a tight ball for easy hunting. Then the dolphins take turns swimming through the school of fish to catch them. Once in a while the dolphins will force them into shallow waters instead.
  • Both adults and calfs case each other, carry things around, toss seaweed between themselves, and use objects to invite other dolphins to interact.
  • Bottlenose dolphin also help help injured dolphins. The help in the recovery of the injured dolphin. This may also include helping protecting from danger while holding it to the surface.
  • Fishermen and dolphins work together in Lauguna, Brazil. A d of bottle nose dolphins will force a school of fish into the shallow waters where the fishermen are. Then one dolphin will roll over and the fishermen will cast out their nets. The dolphins well feed on the escaping fish.



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Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). Bottlenose dolphin. In International wildlife encyclopedia v.1 (AAR-BAR) (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 266-268). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

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

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