Bottlenose Dolphin

Theme area:  Las Antillas
Scientific name:  Tursiops truncatus
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  All oceans
Habitat:  Seas and oceans except for the coldest waters
Diet:  Piscivorous
Weight:  150 - 200 kg
Size:  300 - 400 cm
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The bottlenose dolphin is found in all oceans and seas, except polar waters.

It can dive so deep that it goes 4.5 minutes without breathing. It has a fusiform body that reduces turbulence and allows it to cruise underwater at high speeds of up to 30km/h. Its skull is telescopic, i.e. its face is elongated and tapered at the front and the nostrils move dorsally, which allows it to breathe more easily while swimming. It has sexual dimorphism, with males being larger than females.

It is a polygamous species. Gestation lasts about 12 months and one calf is born from each pregnancy. The female breastfeeds her young until they are between 18 and 20 months old. All females within a group help care for each other's offspring.

They are very social and active animals; they live in groups that range in size from a few individuals to more than 100.

One of the greatest and most serious threats to the Bottlenose Dolphin is environmental pollution, caused mainly by increased human development along the coasts, where they are often found.

The Selwo Marina group is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria's (EAZA) European Endangered Species Conservation Programme (EEP).

Conservation Status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


As mammals, they need to come to the surface every so often to breathe. When sleeping, they rest only one side of their brains, allowing them to be conscious enough to breathe and perform basic survival behaviour while resting.

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