Bottlenose Dolphin Habitat

Bottlenose Dolphin Habitat

Apart from getting some useful facts on the bottlenose dolphin habitat, you will also come to know about some interesting features of this gentle creature of the sea from this article.
The family of oceanic dolphins, the Delphinidae, has the bottlenose dolphin as one of its most popular members. It belongs to the genus Tursiops and according to studies, it has two kinds of species. One is the common bottlenose dolphin, scientifically attributed as Tursiops truncatus, and the other one is the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus. These dolphins have been studied to possess appreciable intelligence, and for their abilities to perform mimicry, use artificial language, develop object categorization, and self-recognition. All these qualities of these graceful swimmers have earned them the name of the most entertaining and charismatic stars of several aquarium shows. Their friendly behavior is reflected through their curved mouths, which gives the impression of a permanent smile.

Where Do Bottlenose Dolphins Live?

# All temperate and tropical waters of the world are inhibited by the bottlenose dolphin species. Their distribution is mainly found to exist in surface water temperatures of 10°C - 30°C. The dolphins which thrive in the Pacific Ocean, are distributed from northern Japan to Australia, and from Southern California to Chile. The offshore waters of the eastern tropical Pacific are also populated with these marine mammals. During years of unusual warmth, they can be spotted off the California coast, as far north as Monterey.

# Their habitat also comprises the Atlantic Ocean. Here, these creatures thrive from Nova Scotia to Patagonia. Apart from these places, areas stretched from Norway to the extremes of South Africa are also where these dolphins can be seen.

# While the Mediterranean and the Black seas are popular habitat spots for these dolphins. The United States coast from Cape Cod through the Gulf of Mexico has been recorded to be flooded by the most number of these species, thus making these places the prime habitat of these swimmers.

# Speaking of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, their population is abundant in the Indian Ocean. Other places which serve as a habitat for them range from Indonesia to Australia to South Africa, the Red Sea, and in the tropical and subtropical waters of the western Pacific.

Bottlenose Dolphin Facts
  • These dolphins make the use of echolocation (method to determine how far an object is by measuring the time of an echo to return after hitting it). With its help, they can detect the location, size and shape of their preys to which they hit their sound signals with. And how do they do that? They produce about 1,000 clicking noises per second. Some kind of fast clicking it is!
  • Another mode of communication for these mammals is leaping as high as 20 feet in the air.
  • They also pass on messages by jaw snapping, or slapping the water surface with their tails.
  • Males tend to be larger in size than females.
  • Being mammals like us, these dolphins cannot breathe under water thus, they must swim to the surface. Blowholes in their heads help them breathe.
  • When left free in the wild waters, these swimmers can travel as fast as 30 km/hr.
  • Bottlenose are also popular due to their social nature to travel, and forage in groups. They have a complex system of communication which comprises squeaks and whistles. This communication system enables them to come to the aid of an injured dolphin, even if it takes them to swim up to the surface of the water.
  • One incident that took place on March 10, 2008, can vouch for the amazing intelligence and helpful nature of these creatures. Two pygmy sperm whales got trapped between a sand bar and Mahia beach, New Zealand. In spite of all the efforts taken by the rescuers, the whales remained trapped. Moko, a male bottlenose dolphin came to the rescue by leading the whales through a narrow channel to the safety of the sea. This incident earned Moko, worldwide fame and popularity.
  • When a baby bottlenose dolphin is born, it comes out tail first. This is to keep it from drowning.
  • The reproduction rate of these creatures is as low as one calf every two to three years.
  • One incident was reported wherein, an Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin was found teaching its young how to use tools. In order to protect the babies while foraging, the adult dolphin covered their mouths with sponges. This is a behavior which is typical of humans and other primates.
  • These mammals are poor on smelling but they score significantly well on their hearing capabilities.
And to conclude, although dolphins are known to be friendly, their unpredictability cannot be denied. As everyone else, even they must be treated with respect, and care. It is alright to play with them, but it is also necessary to let them be when they wish to.