Animals / Mammal Facts / Cetacea - Marine Mammals / Bottlenose Dolphin - Everyone's Favorite Smiling Marine Mammal

Bottlenose Dolphin - Everyone's Favorite Smiling Marine Mammal


young bottlenose nice teeth

 

Members of the Genus Tursiops are the world-famous bottlenose dolphins. Commonly referred to as just "dolphins" (for their being the most populous and common type of dolphin in the world), bottlenoses are intelligent, social creatures that live all over the world - in almost every single major sea and ocean from the Atlantic to the Pacific and all points between. There are actually 3 different species in this family but other than some very slight differences in coloration and their being found in different regions, you wouldn't notice much of a difference.

 

 

3 bottlenose

 

These grey sea-rockets are mammals, not fish. Having a slight amount of body hair, reproducing sexually (not laying eggs) and requiring air to breathe, dolphins are the classic model of a marine mammal. Every 20 minutes or so, a dolphin must rise to the surface, where he or she ejects waste material and sea water from the "blowhole" on the top of his or her head. The dolphin draws another deep breath, and can re-submerge for another extended period. It is worth noting however, that typically dolphins will come up for air several times per minute, swimming and traveling close to the surface of the water, unless hunting or diving for some other specific purpose.

 

underwater trio

 

Dolphins live in large social groups and hunt smaller fish by using a natural type of sonar called echolocation. They emit a high pitched noise which travels through seawater until it hits something solid, at which point the sound reflects and returns to the dolphin, who can pinpoint the relative size and location of the target.

 

mother two young

 

Among the thousands of scientific investigations into dolphin intelligence, some of the most interesting results have been in tests of their cognition, that is to say mental abilities. Research has shown that they have an advanced memory, that they are skilled at mimicry of sounds and pitches, that they can develop self control and monitor their own behavior, that they can recognize their own reflection in a mirror, and even can recognize respective values of numbers.

And in all they do, they seem to always be smiling, happy and playful. That's why everybody loves them.

 

waiting for treats

 

 

 

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