The bottlenose dolphin, scientific name Turiops truncates, is a water-dwelling mammal found in warm waters all throughout the world.
Dolphins can grow up to 4 metres long and live up to 45 years. They have a large dorsal fin, short round snout and a curved mouth that gives the appearance of a smile.
They communicate with each other using a complex system of squeaks, whistles, head butts and body language.
The dolphin’s diet is mainly bottom-swelling fish, shrimp and squid. They have been known to follow fishing trawlers, chasing a feed. Dolphins track their prey using echolocation, determining the location of objects using reflective sound.
They travel in social groups, known as pods, and can reach speeds of up to 30 kilometres an hour. Dolphins must breathe above the water, surfacing a few times a minute to take in air through their blowholes.
Dolphins are known for being incredibly intelligent – they are able to solve problems, remember fellow dolphins, use tools and even plan for the future.
While once widely hunted and currently still threatened by getting caught in commercial fishing targeting other species, the dolphin population is a very healthy one. They are not classified as being in danger of extinction.
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