Bottlenose dolphin

  (Turciops truncatus)
Bottlenose dolphin

Description: The body of this dolphin is long and somewhat chubby. Dorsal fin is dark grey and white or pinkish.

Size: Upon birth, the Bottlenose Dolphin can measure between 90 and 130 cm. in length and weigh around 30 kg. For adults, they can reach 4 meters in length and weigh more than 650 Kg. They often live 30 to 50 years.

Behaviour: The groups can vary from between 1 or more than 100 individuals, but generally they are 2 to 15 individuals. Two types of groups can be distinguished:
  1.Pods of dolphins that associate closely and engage in similar activities.
  2.Herds are larger, which are temporary aggregations of pods.

Distribution: The Bottlenose Dolphin can be found mostly in tropical and temperate waters, as well as high seas. The Strait of Gibraltar has temperate water. They are found mainly in the coastal zone, from the edge of the continental shelf.

Feeding: Bottlenose Dolphins are opportunistic feeders. They usually go after the most abundant species available. In the Strait of Gibraltar they feed mainly on fish, squids and small crustaceans. Depending on the calorie value of the fish and adult Bottlenose dolphin eats 5-15 kg per day and lactating females, up to 20 kg per day.

Reproduction: Gestation is 11-12 months. Caves usually start weaning at 4-12 months. They are fully weaned at 18-20 months and physically mature at 13 years. Females become reproductively mature at about 10 years, which is when they ovulating regularly. Males become sexually mature at 10-15 years.

Exploitation: The Bottlenose Dolphin has been exploited in many different ways. Many have been captured for display purposes, and Japan is still fishing for this species for their own consumption, meaning hundreds of animals are captured every year. Some are also captured for the scientific research without licenses since 1989 are granted. And again Japan continues to permit this, with no clear end.