/ Animalia / Craniata / Mammalia
/ Delphinidae / Tursiops
- Bottlenose dolphin
- Delphinus truncatus Montague, 1821; River Dart, Devon, England.
||Robust dolphin with a relatively short but
distinct beak and no distinct markings (B142, D23).
- Adult: 3-3.6m/9-12ft (D23)
- Male: about 2.7m; female about 2.5-2.6m
- Neonate: 98-130cm (B142).
- Body: stout torpedo shape,
- Head: robust with distinct short beak. Tip of lower jaw often has white
- Teeth: 10-13mm diameter, 18-26 pairs per jaw.
- Colouration:Dorsal usually brown/dark grey, with flanks paler grey,
shading to abdomen white/off-white. Indistinct "cape" from apex of melon,
widening caudally from blowhole to dorsal fin then narrowing to thin line behind dorsal
- Flippers: fairly long, pointed, dark.
- Dorsal fin: central along back, fairly tall slender sickle-shape., dark at margins but
may have centre paler.
- Tail: stock moderately keeled, flukes curved with deep median notch.
|Range and Habitat
Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean (B51).
- North-east Atlantic: locally common southern Europe.
- Britain & Ireland: small populations in scattered localities in
bays and estuaries, mainly in west and north. Main concentrations Irish west cost (e.g.
Galway Bay, Clew Bay), Wales (Cardigan Bay, Dyfed) and north-east Scotland (Cromarty
Firth, Moray Firth).
- Britain & Ireland: Seen mainly July to September (B142).
- Tropical and temperate waters (B51).
- Mostly coastal waters, also offshore populations (B142).
Mugil, Anguilla, Engraulis, Phoxinus, Alosa spp. (coastal species), and Micromesistius,
Trisopterus, Sardinia, Clupea, Gadus, Scomber spp. (offshore)
Squid e.g. Loligo spp. and Cuttlefish Sepia spp.
- Usually alone or in small groups.
- Sometimes feed co-operatively, herding fish into tight concentrations.
- Extended period of births; peak March to May and possibly August to
- Gestation about 12-13 months.
- Lactation about 19 months.
- Calving interval probably 19 years.
- Generally swim slowly (about 4 km/hour), although can briefly reach 54
- Often bow-ride
- Commonly breach from the water.
- Usually seen as one to about 25 individuals.
- Occasionally in large groups.
Organisations (UK Contacts):