Think you know everything about bottlenose dolphins? Here are some fun and interesting facts that might surprise you.
1. Bottlenose dolphins would do well in kindergarten.They are good at waiting, being patient, and taking turns. Oftentimes they will work together to hunt for fish. The group members surround and corral the fish while letting one dolphin eat in the middle. They then each take turns having a meal. What do bottlenose dolphins eat? 15-30 pounds per day of small fishes, squid, and crustaceans.
2. Dolphins don’t chew. They eat fish whole and head first. They eat them head first to avoid being harmed by the fish scales and spine.
3. Bottlenose dolphins have great eyesight both in and out of the water. Their cousins, the Amazon River dolphins, have terrible eyesight and must rely on echolocation to get around.
4. Dolphins sometimes have traffic accidents. They occasionally crash into each other in mid-air. This is believed to be what recently happened to Nea, a captive dolphin that died at the Brookfield Zoo.
5. Giving birth is a breeze. Dolphin labor only lasts about 20 minutes to 2 hours. How nice for them.
6. Dolphins play with their food. They “fish whack” their prey by flicking them high in the air with their tail flukes to stun or kill the fish. The dolphins then swim over and feast on the easy meal.
7. The teenagers are irresponsible. When wild dolphins are between 3-6 years old, they leave their mothers and join up with other “adolescent” dolphins. Lacking in life skills, this is a time when many dolphins die due to inexperience.
8. Just say no! Having a calf too young causes problems. Young teenage dolphin mothers do not always know how to properly take care of their babies. Sound familiar?
9. Bottlenose dolphins are like trees. You can tell approximately how old a dolphin is by examining the layers of its teeth. This is similar to how you can determine the age of a tree.
10. They can be homebodies. Some wild bottlenose dolphins remain in the same home range for generations, without ever migrating. So, where do bottlenose dolphins live? They can be found in nearly all temperate and tropical waters throughout the world. Here is a map of their habitat range from NOAA.