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Swimming With Bottlenose Dolphins

Updated on August 6, 2017

Perfectly Adapted To Life In the Ocean

Bottlenose Dolphins are perfectly adapted to life in the ocean. Their scientific name is Tursiops truncates. They are mammals, and they are very social. Very often they are seen just behind the waves in shallow water. They are dark grey above and white below, and the characteristic scars on their bodies have been caused by the teeth while fighting, or disciplining youngsters. They can reach a length of up to 2.8 meters, and there are some other species that are smaller. There are also some species that are much bigger. Bottlenose Dolphins are warm-blooded. Their inner temperature is about 36 degrees. To maintain this temperature, a thick layer of fat, known as blubber, surrounds them. The blubber is just below the skin, allowing bottlenose dolphins to resist cold temperatures, and also to regulate their body temperature. They can swim 5 to 12 kilometers per hour. They can, however, reach up to 32 kilometers per hour. They normally live between 30 and 50 years. Individuals, and also groups, can be identified by different markings on their dorsal fins. Some Bottlenose Dolphins totally lack a dorsal fin, which had probably been removed by a predator. There are also Bottlenose Dolphins swimming around in the ocean with their dorsal fins completely bent over. For every Bottlenose Dolphin seen on the surface, there are about three beneath.

Bottlenose Dolphins Leaping Out Of The Water

An Enjoyable Swim With Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphins are very mischievous. They’re also very playful. Not only do they play with certain other sea creatures, they’re also known to play with humans. There are many remarkable and heart-warming stories of great friendships between Bottlenose Dolphins and humans. There are people who are lucky enough to enjoy a regular swim with Bottlenose Dolphins. A Bottlenose Dolphin may even tow a person through the ocean while the person is holding on to its dorsal fin. That is a truly exhilarating experience. Bottlenose Dolphins are such sweet and endearing creatures, and swimming with them feels absolutely amazing.


Fancy A Swim With Bottlenose Dolphins?

The Brain Of A Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphins are very intelligent. 1500 to 1600 grams is what the average Bottlenose Dolphin’s brain weighs. A Bottlenose Dolphin’s brain is larger than an average human’s brain, because an average human’s brain weighs between 1200 to 1300 grams. This is not, however, conclusive evidence of a Bottlenose Dolphin’s intelligence. There are a few other factors that may be the cause of intelligence. Nevertheless, according to scientists, this brain capacity is a definite sign that dolphins have at least the potential of higher intelligence. When Bottlenose Dolphins sleep, they keep one eye open, and the other eye closed, because they have to be awake to breathe. Only half of their brain goes to sleep, while the other half stays awake, so that they can carry on breathing. Their right eye is closed, while the left half of their brain is asleep, and their left eye is closed while the right half of their brain is asleep. This prevents them from drowning while sleeping.


Bottlenose Dolphins Share A Mutual Curiosity With Human Beings

A Procedure Called Echolocation

To locate food and navigate, Bottlenose Dolphins use a procedure called echolocation. This amazing procedure works when the Dolphin produces an ultrasound that bounces off the prey, and is picked up through an opening in the bone on the lower jaw. As soon as the Dolphin moves in to grab hold of the fish, another ultrasound is produced which stuns the fish, so that it can be eaten at leisure. Bottlenose Dolphins cooperate with each other, and work in groups to perfect the effort of hunting. After they have eaten their fill, they swim joyfully, and play enjoyable games with each other. They also like to leap gracefully out of the ocean, and they also mate.

The Beautiful Calf

The gestation period for a female Bottlenose Dolphin is 12 months. To prevent drowning, a Bottlenose Dolphin calf is born tail first. Immediately afterwards, the mother swims away swiftly, and in doing so, she breaks the umbilical cord. Then she hurriedly swims back to her calf, and takes it to the surface so that it can breathe. The calf is nursed with milk from the mammary glands of the mother. Usually another Bottlenose Dolphin will help the mother to take care of the calf, and by doing this, she becomes a bit like a midwife. During the first month of their lives, newborn Bottlenose Dolphins do not sleep. They remain mobile 24 hours per day. Their mothers do exactly the same. It really is totally awesome.

A Bottlenose Dolphin Calf In The Big Blue Ocean

Impressive Cetaceans

Imagine swimming in the open sea with a group of wild Bottlenose Dolphins. It’s by far one of the most pleasurable experiences that life has to offer, and it really is a wonderful way to live life to the full. That’s for sure! These beautiful creatures can swim up to 260 meters below the surface of the ocean, but because they need fast access to air, they’re usually shallow divers, and they stay close to the surface. They can stay under water for up to 15 minutes. We have seen Bottlenose Dolphins in movies, on television, and in spectacular shows, and that may be the reason for their popularity. They are fantastic communicators. They can make a very distinctive signature whistle, and this whistle may help individual Dolphins recognize one another. They generally travel in groups of between 10 and 400 individuals, but groups of 1500 have been spotted. What is truly phenomenal is that huge groups of Bottlenose Dolphins sometimes follow ships for several days on their journey.

Bottlenose Dolphins In Captivity

Bottlenose Dolphins do remarkably well in captivity. There are people that may disagree, because they feel that it’s cruel to keep these beautiful creatures in captivity, and there are some other people who feel that Bottlenose Dolphins in captivity could play an enormous educational role, thereby ensuring the survival of the species. Well, a Bottlenose Dolphin in captivity can be taught all kinds of tricks, for example, leaping out of the water, and taking a fish out of the hand of one of its trainers, or playing with a ball, and using its nose to toss the ball high into the air. A Bottlenose Dolphin is a fast and eager learner.

Bottlenose Dolphins Love Performing Tricks

They Are Truly Special Creatures

Bottlenose Dolphins are so enchanting. There are so many incredible stories of people who were on the verge of drowning in the ocean, but fortunately got rescued miraculously by Bottlenose Dolphins who pushed them to the surface. Some other people who almost got bitten by terrifying sharks felt amazed and also relieved when groups of Bottlenose Dolphins surrounded them protectively, and slapped with their dorsal fins on the surface of the ocean, keeping the sharks away. This is more than enough proof that they are truly special creatures. They are so lively and so glorious, and when they leap out of the ocean in an exuberant manner, it’s an awesome sight, and it fills one’s heart with a special kind of joy. Any encounter with a Bottlenose Dolphin is truly wonderful and so absolutely memorable. So try to imagine an ocean without Bottlenose Dolphins. Ooh, the ocean just wouldn’t be the same without these adorable creatures!

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    • Penny Sebring profile image

      Penny Sebring 

      14 months ago from Fort Collins

      I didn't know they stayed awake for their first month of life. Such amazing animals!

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