Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin – Classification
The scienfitic name for the Bottlenose dolphin is Tursiops truncates. It belongs to the genus Tursiops in the family Delphinidae. The Bottlenose dolphins are sometimes divided into several species and subspecies. The proper classification has been somewhat confused, but modern DNA testing techniques are now starting to clear up the subject. Since all Bottlenose dolphins used to be considered one single species, a majority of the collected data does not distinguish between different species and subspecies. This is important to keep in mind when you try to find Bottlenose dolphin facts.  

  • Tursiops truncates

The Common Bottlenose dolphin lives in most of the world’s oceans. It has a dark line that runs from its beak to the blowhole. The body colouration can be almost blue.

  • Tursiops aduncus

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphin is found in the Indo-Pacific; around South-China, India and Australia. This dolphin species have a dark-grey back, while its belly is white and decorated with grey dots.

  • Tursiops truncatus gillii is a subspecies of the Common Bottlenose dolphin, but it is sometimes referred to as Tursiops gillii. Its common name is Pacific Bottlenose dolphin and as the name suggests you will find this dolphin subspecies in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Bottlenose dolphin have a dark line running from its eyes to the forehead.
  • Tursiops truncatus ponticus is a subspecies of Common Bottlenose dolphin living in the Black Sea. It is naturally referred to as the Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin.

Bottlenose dolphin – physical description
The Bottlenose dolphin derives its name from its bottle-shaped jaws. Both upper and lower jaws are elongated, and the face of the Bottlenose dolphin is also famous for its characteristic “smile”. The true dolphin nose is however not located here; the true nose is instead the blowhole which is located on top of the dolphin’s head.

The size of the Bottlenose dolphin varies a lot depending on geographical location. An adult Bottlenose dolphin is between 6 and 13 feet (2 to 4 meters) long and weighs from 330 to 1430 pounds (150 to 650 kilograms). The male Bottlenose dolphin is usually significantly heavier than the female, and will also be somewhat longer. 

The Bottlenose dolphin is grey and can therefore be difficult to spot when submerged. The flukes (i.e. the lobes of the tail fin) and the dorsal fin do not contain bones or muscles; they are instead made up by dense connective tissue. When the Bottlenose dolphin swims, it creates a forward motion by moving its flukes up and down in the water. At the side of the animal’s body, you will find the pectoral flippers which are used for steering. Unlike the flukes and the dorsal fin, the pectoral flippers contain bones.  

Bottlenose dolphin – geographical range
Bottlenose dolphins are found in temperate as well as tropical waters all over the world. They are present in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

In the Atlantic Ocean, you can spot Bottlenose dolphins from Nova Scotia and Norway to Patagonia and South Africa. In the Pacific Ocean, Bottlenose dolphins live from the northern shores of Japan to Australia and from California to Chile. In the Eastern Pacific you can find them as far west as Hawaii. In the Indian Ocean, the Bottlenose dolphins inhabit the waters between Australia and South Africa.

Whale & Dolphin Articles:

Beluga Whale
Beluga Whale Facts
Blue Whale
Blue Whale Facts
Bottlenose Dolphin Facts
Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale Facts
Sperm Whale
Pygme Sperm Whale


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