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Common Bottlenose Dolphin
Scientific Name:
Tursiops truncatus
Family Name:
6.25 - 13 ft
330 - 1435 lb
Dark cape (area of the back around the dorsal fin), Lighter under-side

Life Span:
30-40 years

Fish, Krill and/or other crustaceans, Squid
HOME >> WATER SPECIES >> DOLPHINS >> Common Bottlenose Dolphin

Common Bottlenose Dolphin

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Common Bottlenose Dolphin Description
  Bottlenose dolphins vary greatly in size. It's quite possible for two to be a very different size, shape and colour from one another, even if they live in the same school. If they come from different populations, they will probably be even more different. Some of the world's largest bottlenose dolphins, for example, live around the United Kingdom. They can be a good metre longer than those living off Florida in the USA, and will probably be fatter with shorter beaks.
There seem to be two main types of bottlenose: inshore dolphins (living nearer the coast) that are smaller and thinner, and offshore dolphins that are larger and fatter. Their size will also depend on the temperature of the water they live in - the colder it is, the more blubber they need!
The easiest way of recognising a bottlenose is to look out for an obvious dark and curved-back dorsal fin on a lively grey dolphin! They can, however, quite easily be confused with other dolphins such as spotted and humpback dolphins. The shape of their dorsal fin, along with nicks, scratches and other markings on their skin, are what researchers use to identify individual bottlenose dolphins.
They have between 40 and 52 teeth in their upper jaw and 36 - 48 teeth in their lower jaw.
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