~ The Bottlenose Dolphin ~

The Bottlenose dolphin is the best known of small cetaceans. These dolphins live both inshore and offshore from cooler temperate to tropical waters. They are very active and are the animals that leap, bow ride, body surf, splashes its tail, and approaches boats and swimmers more than any other dolphin. The sociable dolphins that have long mixed with humans, such as Flipper, are of this species.

Bottlenose dolphins are mostly gray with a light or white belly, a short defined beak, and a prominent curved dorsal fin. Adults vary in size from 7 feet to 12 feet. Size and other features also vary depending on whether the dolphins live inshore or offshore and in what part of the world they live.

Through research it is known that coastal Bottlenose dolphins reside in or return to the same areas year after year. Females with calves stay together, using the most productive areas of their home ranges; males form long-term bonds with each other and range farther afield as they get older. Sometimes males will venture into nearby dolphin communities, traveling from one female Bottlenose dolphin group to another.

Eating and hunting habits vary greatly for Bottlenose dolphins depending on their local circumstances and area conditions.

Their actual numbers are insufficiently known, but overall numbers seem to be substantial, while some specific populations are threatened. Tuna fishing still remains a great threat to Bottlenose dolphins and other species of dolphins and porpoises.

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