Bottlenose dolphins can be found in many marine and estuarine habitats, in both shallow coastal waters and deep, offshore habitats.
Did you know?
Similar to the use of names in humans, dolphins utilize a certain whistle to identify themselves.
They are intelligent and can learn, judge sizes and numbers, and communicate and cooperate with others for feeding strategies.
Bottlenose dolphins can exhibit quick bursts of high speeds, with the fastest speed recorded at 25 mph.
Form & Function
Dolphins have a streamlined body with a gray color on the back and a lighter gray belly. Adults average in length at 8.5 feet. They have pectoral flippers and a dorsal fin to steer and stabilize the body and a tail fin (fluke) for propulsion through the water. They possess a thick layer of blubber that helps them regulate their temperature, store fat, and provide protection from predators. Dolphins can echolocate in low visibility environments by sensing echoes produced by clicks.
Conservation & YOu
Least concern (IUCN) While their global populations are currently stable, bottlenose dolphins are threatened by pollution and interactions with fishers who may overfish their prey or hunt the dolphins. NOAA estimates the population in the Gulf of Mexico to consist of about 10,000 individuals.