range: Nearctic, Neotropical, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean:
Ranges primarily in temperate and tropical waters of the Atlantic
and Pacific Ocean and adjoining seas.
Physical characteristics: The
bottlenose dolphin a large beaked dolphin reaching lengths of 175-300
cm and more, with males being much larger than females. Newborn calves
are aprox. 1m long and weigh around 10 kg. There are 20-28 sharp conical
teeth on each side of each jaw, with each tooth about 1 cm in diameter.
Overall body color is grayish brown, with the ventral side being lighter.
Food habits: Feeds on squid, shrimp,
eels, and a wide variety of fishes. Often hunt as a team. They have
been observed to chase fish onto mud flats, then slide out of the
water to seize their prey. Approximately 6-7 kg of seafood is consumed
Reproduction: The height of sexual
activity in Mexican Pacific is May to August. Gestation is 12 months.
Lactation lasts from 12-18 months, but young begin to eat solid food
when less than 6 months old. Mother and calf often remain closely
associated until the young is 4 years old. Females become sexually
mature at 5-12 years of age, while males are mature at 9-13 years.
Behavior: Social species. A single
individual is rarely seen. Usually in groups of around 8 - 20 individuals,
but also in large aggregations counting hundreds of individuals. Complex
vocalization and social behavior suggest high level of intelligence.
Relationships inside the group are subject to study. Apparent stable
bonds include mother - calf unit, which stays together for 3 -4 years.
Even more stable unit, lasting many years, possibly decades or even
established for life, is a coalition in between two males. Possibly
and adaptation to rather violent life of males, who have to fight
aggressively for females and defend their territories from intruders.
Habitat: Warm, shallow inshore waters. also bays and lagoons.