Wildlife Fact Sheets

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

Tursiops truncatus

  • Life Span
    50 years
  • Habitat
    Shallow seas
  • Range
    Tropical waters and warm oceans around the world
  • Preferred Food
    I mostly eat bottom-dwelling fish, as well as shrimp and squid.


Call me the Einstein of the sea—I’m incredibly intelligent! I have an intricate system for communicating called echolocation, which uses the reflection of sound to figure out the location of objects. I can use it to track my prey. I also use squeaks and whistles to “talk” with my friends. You will often see me swimming close to shore, breaching (shooting out of the water) and lobtailing (slapping my tail onto the surface of the water). You can even catch me out in the water showing off to my friends by jumping high and doing flips for fun!

I am sleek and streamlined, making it easy for me to reach speeds up to 18 miles per hour. I surface to breathe two or three times a minute—even the fastest swimmers need oxygen! On any given day, I can swim up to 100 miles. Like many of my other ocean friends, there are issues that threaten our survival. The main threats include entanglement in fishing nets, impacts from climate change and habitat degradation.

Did You Know?

A female dolphin and her calf stay together for three to six years. Often a female will return to her own mother or other female relatives to raise her new calf.

Status and Conservation

I’m extremely social and travel in groups with up to 15 other dolphins. But we don’t stay with the same group forever. Instead we break away every so often and join a new group, so I am always meeting new dolphins!

Fast Facts


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