Common Bottlenose Dolphin Facts!

Common bottlenose dolphin breaching in the bow wave of a boat. PD image by NASA

Common Bottlenose Dolphin Facts!

Common bottlenose dolphin breaching in the bow wave of a boat. PD image by NASA

This is the familiar dolphin that we are used to seeing in movies or TV shows. As the name “common” suggests, it is found all around the world, in tropical and temperate waters. The common bottlenose is the largest of the beaked dolphins, measuring 6.6 to 13.1 feet (2 to 4 meters) long.

Bottlenose Dolphin Popping Out of the Water
Bottlenose Dolphin Popping Out of the Water. Image credit: Joe McKenna cc2.0

Even though they live underwater, dolphins are mammals and have to emerge every so often for air. They do not breathe automatically as humans do — they must voluntarily swim to the surface to breathe. For this reason, they can never fall completely asleep. They keep one side of their brain active so that they can remember to breathe.


Dolphin head section
Section through the head of a dolphin, with captions at elements which are important for echolocation. Image credit: Martin-rnr cc1.0

The diet of the bottlenose dolphin consists of a wide variety of fish, eels, squid and shrimp, which it swallows whole. It hunts and navigates using echolocation, which is the process of releasing a sound that bounces off surrounding objects and echoes back to the dolphin. It can then determine the location, size, shape, distance and speed of those objects.

K-Dog, trained by the US Navy to find mines and boobytraps underwater, leaping out of the water. PD image by U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Brien Aho.

Bottlenose dolphins are highly intelligent and social animals. They often interact with humans. They have even been trained for military uses, such as finding sea mines. They have also been known to help fishermen by driving fish toward the fish net, and eating the fish that escape from the net.

Common Bottlenose Dolphins are featured in the following books:
25 Whales, Dolphins and other Sea Mammals
Dolphins! Early Reader Book
101 Facts… Dolphins!

Also see:
Dolphins Can Recognise Themselves In The Mirror!

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about Common Bottlenose Dolphins. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Facts About Atlantic/Common Bottlenose Dolphins by AnnamalChannel
  2. Bottlenose Dolphins Playing around. Kona Hawaii, 6/30/2012 by Jonathan Davis
  3. Bottlenose dolphins frolic in crystal-clear water by earthtouch
  4. Are dolphins the earth’s most intelligent animals? by earthtouch
  5. Sharks attack people Dolphins Defend by DivingAccidents


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