Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
Made famous by the television show Flipper,
the Bottlenose Dolphin is a large, robust animal with a
slightly hooked broad dorsal fin. Size and some physical
characteristics vary according to the distribution of each
individual. In smaller forms, the well-known bottle-shaped
beak is shorter and slender. It broadens as the body size
increases. In some populations the melon is more rounded.
Body colour also varies; the dorsal cape ranges from dark
blue to brown-grey, fading to a pale grey along the flanks.
The ventral surface is white-pink, and the tip of the snout
is normally white. Tail flukes and the flippers' edges are
grey-black. Dark lines from melon to eye and eye to flipper
can also be seen. Some populations are spotted, or a dark
grey-black. The Bottlenose Dolphin measures between 1.9m
and 4m, weighing 90-650kg.
Habitat: Bottlenose Dolphins are both a coastal and oceanic
species. The habitats they occupy is diverse, ranging from
rocky reefs to calm lagoons and open waters.
Food & Feeding: Bottlenose Dolphins tend to prefer shoaling
and bottom-dwelling species, feasting upon a wide variety
of fish, squid and octopus. Cuttlefish are also taken.
Behaviour: Bottlenose Dolphins have been reported individually,
in groups of between 10-100. They are powerful swimmers
and acrobatic in nature. Longevity: At least 30 years (approximately).