Facts and Knowledge:

The playful bottle nose dolphin, found in coastal waters around the world, is one of the best known and most loved marine mammals. With their steely gray backs, dome shaped heads and short beaks, are intelligent and friendly.  The whistling calls they make are actually a form of language..

Habits:  The dolphins are very sociable animals that generally live in groups.  Their friendly, cooperative behavior is vital to their survival. When a dolphin is sick or injured, it cries of distress summon immediate aid from other dolphins, who try to support it to the surface so that it can breathe.  Dolphins spend a large part of their day playing. They use whistles and clicks to contact each other.

Breeding: The bottle nose dolphins usually mate in the spring and summer.  The females give birth underwater to a single calf 10 -12 months later..  Several dolphins surround the mother to assist with her and the baby from shark attacks.  Sharks are attracted to the scene by the blood.  Sometimes the dolphin helpers will tug gently at the baby's tail as it immerses, whistling encouragement to mother and youngster.  They swim together as a group to guide the newborn dolphin to the surface for its first breath of air.  The mother nurses her calf for at least 16 months, so she usually breeds only once every two to three years.  Each time she is likely to breed with a different mate..

Food & Feeding: The dolphins eat a wide variety of fish, and their hunting behavior varies according to the availability of food.  When large schools of fish are present, as many as several hundred dolphins will corporate in catching the fish by communicating with one another.  They drive the fish into a dense mass and force them to the surface of the water, making it impossible for the fish to escape.  They also emit loud sounds to further confuse the prey.  Dolphins usually hunt during the day. However, when fish begin migrating or are scarce, dolphins become nocturnal hunters.  THey search for squid and bottom dwelling fish which are active at night.

Dolphin and Man: Man Man and dolphin conflict when they compete for fish; each year, thousands of dolphins drown in nets.  Sometimes schools of dolphins get stranded on shore.  Conservationists try to return them to deep water but are rarely successful.  Scientist believe thetas schools become stranded when a single dolphins echo location system is upset.  Its distress calls cause others to follow it to their death.

Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species

Length: 11 to 13 ft
Weight: 330 to 4,40 lbs
Sexual Maturity: 8  years
Mating: Mating can accur at any time, but most births take place during the summer.
No of young: 1 calf

Call: Extensive vocabulary of whistles and click
Diet: Wide range of inshore fish, particularly capelin, anchovy, salmon, and shrimp.
Life span: about 50 years
Distribution:  Coastal waters of the Atlantic, the temperate North Pacific and the Red Sea and Indo Pacific region are home to three species of bottle nose dolphin.  Tursiops tr runcatus truncates, T.t gilli and T t aduncus respectively..
Conservation: Bottle Nose dolphins are in no danger of extinction.  This is not true of other dolphin species.

How the dolphins see:
The Dolphins communicate by means of high pitched whistles and clicks which create sound waves.  The sound waves travel through the water and bounce off solid objects, causing an echo.  A dolphin's brain is adapted to understand the echoes that travel through the water.  By using this kind of echolocation, a dolphin can interpret a detailed "picture" of its environment from which it is able to quickly identify the direction, size, and distance of prey.

Did you know:
Dolphins can eat at depths of 6 feet and can say submerged for up to 15 minutes.
Sharks and killer whales prey on dolphins.
To breathe when the are asleep, females lie on the water's surface with their blowholes exposed to the air; males sleep just below the surface and rise to breathe periodically as a reflex action.

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