When we think of dolphins, it’s often bottlenose dolphins we’re thinking of. They’re graceful, smart, and friendly, and with their upturned mouths, they always look like they’re smiling.
- Bottlenose dolphins can live in the wild to be 45 to 50 years old.
- They weigh around 1,100 pounds and grow 10 to 14 feet long.
- Bottlenose dolphins are very social. They live in pods, or groups, and they communicate with each other through whistles and clicks. Scientists wonder if they have a language, similar to humans.
- Bottlenose dolphins have been known to help injured dolphins.
- Dolphins sometimes fight with each other or attack sharks and porpoises.
- They use echolocation to find food. Making as many as 1,000 clicks per second, they listen to the echoes of their clicks bouncing off objects to find shrimp, squid, and fish. They sometimes follow fishing boats, looking for leftovers.
- Bottlenose dolphins have a sleek, streamlined shape. They are expert swimmers, going 18 mph or more. They also dive and jump in the air.
- Bottlenose dolphins are generally friendly to humans. They sometimes swim with divers and swimmers. They’re often seen in aquariums and diving shows.
- These mammals have one baby every three years or so. They nurse their young just like other mammals.
- Pod: a family, group, or school of dolphins
- Echolocation: the ability to find things through sound waves
- Streamlined: simple, sleek design
Questions and Answers
Question: Are dolphins endangered?
Answer: In the past, dolphins were hunted for their meat. Today their numbers are stable because most people don’t hunt them. Dolphins live in warm oceans around the world. Warming waters seems to affect their ability to reproduce. Sometimes they get caught in commercial fishing nets.
Watch a video about bottlenose dolphins.