The aquatic mammal belongs to the group of odentoceti (whale with teeth) and therefore has a hydrodynamic body in the shape of a torpedo, which enables it to move quickly through the water. They are the species of dolphin with the largest snout, and this is why they receive their name “bottlenose”.
It is known that they are very intelligent and live in complex social groups called pods. Their colour varies from cream through to coal colour or even black. Their back is darker than the stomach area. They have between 18 and 27 sets of small conical teeth which they use to capture their prey but not to chew them, as they swallow them whole. The principal mating season is March-April and the courtship can be quite violent. Births in Europe tend to take place in the summer and the bond between mother and baby is very strong, with them remaining together for four or five years. They communicate with body language and a wide range of clicks and whistles.
Dolphins sleep eight hours a day although rarely do they stop swimming, sleeping one cerebral hemisphere and operating with the other and then swapping over. They are good swimmers, can reach speeds of up to 45-50km/h and are capable of remaining submerged for twenty minutes and descend to depths of 300m.
It is estimated there is a global population of 600.000 specimens. They often join together with other species of cetaceans, both dolphins and whales. In China and Taiwan mixed schools have been found with juveniles of both species of the tursiops genre.