They feature front flippers, flukes and a dorsal fin, which they use for swimming. At least one population, off Scotland, has practiced infanticide, and also has attacked and killed harbour porpoises.  In some areas, dolphins have limited home ranges; in others, they are migratory. , The common bottlenose dolphin can be found in the temperate, subtropical and tropical oceans worldwide.  They can live as long as 40–50 years. 65–72. In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and one of its sequels, So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, the dolphins try to warn humans of Earth's impending destruction, but their behavior was misinterpreted as playful acrobatics. Then the dolphins take turns charging through the school to feed.  Brevetoxins are neurotoxins that can cause acute respiratory and neurological symptoms, including death, in marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, and fishes. The dolphin later became infamous for killing a swimmer and injuring many others, which earned it the nickname of killer dolphin. Stolen, M. K. & Barlow, J. This also leaves less energy to use in swimming speed, foraging, and predator evasion.  While formerly known simply as the bottlenose dolphin, this term is now applied to the genus Tursiops as a whole. When a pod finds a school of fish, they will circle the school and trap the fish in a mini whirlpool. Vol. Bottlenose dolphins are found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters, absent only from 45 degrees poleward in either hemisphere.  In 2019 a female was observed caring for a juvenile melon-headed whale, the first reported instance of a bottlenose dolphin adopting a non-conspecific infant.  They are not currently described, however, as separate species or subspecies. This species’ dorsal fin is tall and curves backward. Their capacity for learning has also made them ideal trained performers in oceanarium and zoological shows. Weaver, A., & Kuczaj, S. (2016). SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund. In. This coloring makes it hard to see them, from both above and below. On Mahia Beach, New Zealand, on March 10, 2008, two pygmy sperm whales, a female and calf, stranded on the beach. , This article is about the genus of bottlenose dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins, the genus Tursiops, are the most common members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphin. What do bottlenose dolphins look like?  Newborn calves are between 0.8 and 1.4 m (2 ft 7 in and 4 ft 7 in) long and weigh between 15 and 30 kg (33 and 66 lb). Bottlenose dolphins are central to David Brin's series of Uplift Universe novels, particularly Startide Rising, where they are one of the four Earth species (along with chimpanzees, gorillas, and dogs) to have been 'uplifted' to sentience.  They have also been trained for military uses such as locating sea mines or detecting and marking enemy divers, as for example in the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program. The Tursiops truncate, more commonly known as the bottlenose dolphin, lives in temperate to tropical ocean waters. Mammal Sci. Bottlenose dolphins inhabit warm and temperate seas worldwide, being found everywhere except for the Arctic and Antarctic Circle regions. "Distribution and Herd Structure of Bottlenose Dolphins in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean", pp. , By contrast, a bottlenose's sense of smell is poor, because its blowhole, the analog to the nose, is closed when underwater and it opens only for breathing. Marine parks like SeaWorld and Discovery Cove provide a safe environment for humans to interact with dolphins. (This contrasts with bats and sonar, which reduce the sensitivity of the sound receptor.) Catalogo descrittivo dei Talassoterii rinevnuti nei Terreni Terziarii del Piemonte e Della Ligura. The gestation period is 12 months.  Bottlenose dolphins perform in many aquaria, generating controversy. Martien, K. K. et al. , Some recent genetic evidence suggests the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin belongs in the genus Stenella, since it is more like the Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) than the common bottlenose dolphin. Dolphins don't physically hold their infants but line up in an echelon position with infants swimming beside them. Echolocation tells the dolphins the shape, size, speed, distance, and location of the object. , In US waters, hunting and harassing of marine mammals is forbidden in almost all circumstances, from the passing of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Group size is often less than 20 nearshore; offshore groups of several hundred have been seen. , Both sexes have genital slits on the underside of their bodies. Typically, 18%–20% of their bodyweight is blubber.  To hear the returning echo, they have two small ear openings behind the eyes, but most sound waves are transmitted to the inner ear through the lower jaw. This is the dolphin most frequently seen along the shores of the United States. , Dolphins also use sound for communication, including squeaks emitted from the blowhole, whistles emitted from nasal sacs below the blowhole, and sounds emitted through body language, such as leaping from the water and slapping their tails on the water. These dolphins are usually black to a light gray, with white bellies, which are sometimes slightly pink. These behaviors may also be transmitted via teaching. In the 1980s, a female from the local population was kept at a local dolphinarium for three weeks, and the scientist suggests she copied the tail-walking behavior from other dolphins. Sometimes they have spots on their bellies and a stripe from the eye to the base of the flipper.  In captivity, a bottlenose dolphin and a rough-toothed dolphin hybridized. Fish. They have been hunted in many parts of the world for meat and other by-products made from dolphin parts (such as fertilizer, and machinery lubricants made from their jaw oil).  However, Dr. Read of Duke University, a porpoise expert researching similar cases of porpoise killings that had occurred in Virginia in 1996 and 1997, holds a different view. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Common bottlenose dolphins are popular in aquarium shows and television programs such as Flipper. Delphineus, a bottlenose dolphin, appears in the PC adventure game EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus. Bottlenose dolphins are the most well-known and common type of dolphin. Occasionally dolphins will herd fish to shallow water where they are easy prey. The blowhole is a nose that has evolved and moved toward the top of the head of the dolphin. The first was born in 1985 to a female bottlenose. They feature front flippers, flukes and a dorsal fin, which they use for swimming.  Also, evidence has been accumulating to validate the existence of a separate species, Lahille's bottlenose dolphin, T. gephyreus, that occurs in coastal waters of Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil. Fungie is another solitary male bottlenose, living in close contact with humans in Dingle harbour, Ireland, since 1983. Because of films and TV shows like Flipper and decades of exploitation for human amusement, bottlenose dolphins are the most recognisable of all dolphin species. The dolphin's sleek, fusiform body, together with its flippers, flukes, and dorsal fin, adapt this animal for ocean life.