10 Facts you did not know about Bottlenose Dolphins
- Author: Linda Chivell
- Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Related CategoryMarine Wildlife
1. Bottlenose Dolphins are not fish
Dolphins are warm blooded, breathe air with lungs (not gills) and birth live young. They nurse their calves with milk from mammary glands of the mothers. They don’t lay eggs like fish. They carry their babies inside. After 12 months of pregnancy, the female gives birth and even feeds her baby milk from nipples located in her “armpit” behind her front flipper.
2. Bottlenose Dolphins must come to the surface to breathe
Although they live underwater, they must come up to the surface to breath air. It breathes through what's called a 'blowhole', a hole at the top of its head. These clever creatures can open this hole when inhaling and exhaling out of the water, and close it when below the ocean surface. They can hold their breath underwater for around seven minutes.
3. Bottlenose Dolphins can swim up to 250 m. below the surface of the ocean.
However they need quick access to air at the surface, therefore bottlenose dolphins usually are shallow divers and close to the surface. They are super swimmers who can reach speeds over 30km an hour .
4. Bottlenose Dolphins have excellent hearing
Bottlenose dolphins talk to each other with clicks and whistles. They have the ability to hear 10 times better than humans. When you’re near a pod of dolphins, you can often hear their silly chatter. Even though it all sounds the same to humans, mother dolphins can hear their babies calling and find them in a pod without any problem
5. Bottlenose Dolphins are carnivores
Dolphins love meat! They friends eat mostly fish, but will also eat crustaceans such as shrimp and squid, too. A full grown dolphin consumes about 30 pounds of food every day, which means most of their day is spent in search of food.
6. Bottlenose Dolphins use radar to find their dinner
With the ability to send out sound waves from their forehead, from an organ called mellon which decodes the message very much like a sonar, dolphins use echolocation to find their way in the ocean and to hunt for fish. The sound waves bounce off objects and “echo” back to them, giving them information about size and distance of their prey.
7. Bottlenose Dolphins LOVE their family
They travel in groups, called 'pods', of around 10-15. In these groups they play and hunt together. Female dolphins are referred to as cows, males are known as bulls and young dolphin are called calves. Young dolphins stay close to their moms until they are 2 or 3 years old. But bonds extend beyond mother and baby. They care for their sick and elderly and they treat an injured member of their pod with great care.
8. The bottlenose dolphin gets its name from its short, thick beak
These beautiful creatures have a short thick beak (as their name suggests!) and a curved mouth, giving the appearance that they are always smiling. They are usually grey in colour, and measure around 2-4 metres in length.
9. Bottlenose Dolphins are warm-blooded.
Their internal temperature is around 36 degrees. To keep this temperature they are surrounded by a thick layer of fat called “blubber” just below the skin. This fat, allow dolphins to resist cold temperatures and regulate their body temperature.
10. Bottlenose Dolphins are great communicators.
They can make a unique signature whistle that may help individual dolphins recognize each other or perform any other kind of communication still unknown. Dolphins even make noises so loud that can stunt fish.