The Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops
truncatus) are small stream-lined
cetaceans that have a long, beaklike snout, a falcate (sickle-shaped)
dorsal fin, and sharp teeth. They are Suborder Odontoceti (toothed whales)
and have one blowhole. These dolphins live in small groups called pods.
They can grow to be 12 feet (3.7 m) long,
sometimes weighing more than 1,400 pounds (635 kg), most however tend
to be smaller than this. The bottlenose
dolphin is one of 76 cetacean species, and are marine mammals and
are thought to have a maximum life span of about
Bottlenose dolphins are hunters that generally
fish at or near to the surface of the water, their diet consists mostly
of fish and squid, and to this end they have many pairs of sharp, pointed
teeth distributed in both the upper and lower jaws.
Some sharks (including tiger sharks, dusky sharks
and bull sharks) and even Orcas will prey upon dolphins and of course
many dolphins are also often trapped in fishing nets around the world.
Although bottlenose dolphins live in small
pods of up to 12, they are however very social animals, and often, many
pods group together to form congregations of hundreds of dolphins.
A Dolphin can dive down to more than 1,000
feet (300 m) and can jump up to 20 feet (6 m) out of the water. (don't
try this the next time your in the bath!)
Dolphins breathe air at the surface of the water through a
single blowhole located near the top of the head. They usually need
to breathe about every 2 minutes, with the exhalation blow being a single
A bow rider
is a Dolphin that hitches a rides in the bow wave in front of a ship.
The Dolphin surfs using the pressure created in front of a moving ship.