The Bottlenose Dolphin or in latin TURISOPS TRUNCATUS
Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus) is perhaps the most popular of all the cetaceans, after starring in the film “Flipper”. Or because of its role as a “clown” in some parks. Locally known as the “Tonina” or “Mular Dolphin”. Adult males can grow to a length of 4 metres, while females are smaller (up to 3 metres). Dark grey colour of its body turns lighter on the underside, and you may even see some specimens with a pink belly.
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) Social Behaviour
Very social and playful mammals, bottlenose dolphins form friendships that last decades hunting, mating and protecting each other. They like to surf in the waves and wakes of boats and swim through self-made bubble rings. They can swim up to 22 miles an hour.
Thought to be some of the smartest animals on Earth, bottlenose dolphins send messages to one another in many different ways. Bottlenose dolphins squeak, squawk and use body language—leaping as high as 20 feet in the air, snapping their jaws, slapping their tails on the surface of the water, blowing bubbles and even butting heads.
Do they live in Tenerife?
Like the pilot whale, this species is a permanent resident of the southwest of Tenerife, in the Teno Rasca Marine Strip, and you can see groups of up to 20 individuals close to the coast. Even sometimes the sight of larger groups, but further out to sea. Your best chance of seeing them is to set sail from the ports of Los Gigantes or Los Cristianos, although they move along our coast in search of schools of fish that they feed off. Our sea mammals mainly feed on fish (sardines, mackerel, spine fish), squid, and shrimp. A group of dolphins will cooperate to make a mud ring to trap fish. Then, some of the dolphins in the group will wait outside the ring for fish that are trying to escape, gulping them up as a snack.
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) Hearing
Bottlenose dolphins have a sharp sense of hearing. Scientists believe that the sounds travel through the dolphin’s lower jaw to its inner ear and then they transmit them to the brain for analysis. When it is born each, dolphin has a special whistle that it creates. This whistle they use it for identification, just like a human’s name. Dolphins also produce high frequency clicks, which act as a sonar system called echolocation. When clicking sounds hit an object in the water, like a fish or rock, they bounce off and come back to dolphins as echoes. Echolocation tells dolphins its shape, size, speed, distance, and location of an object.
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus): Mammals or fish?
Bottlenose dolphins are warm-blooded, so they are marine mammals. Their internal temperature is around 36 degrees. To keep this temperature they are surrounded by a thick layer of fat called “blubber” just below the skin. This fat, allow dolphins to resist cold temperatures and regulate their body temperature. Did you know that they shed their outermost layer of skin every two hours?
Where do Bottlenose Dolphins live?
Bottlenose dolphins are found in warm water all over the world. They live both in shallow water close to shore and far out in deep dark water. Dolphins face a lot of problems with getting trapped in the garbage humans leave on the beach.
Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) Conservation Status
Local populations are threatened by water pollution, fishing, harassment, injury, and food shortages. However, the common bottlenose dolphin is listed as being of “least concern” on the IUCN Red List. Dolphins and whales enjoy some level of protection in most parts of the world. In the United States, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA) prohibits hunting and harassing of dolphins and whales, except in special circumstances.
In Spain by Royal Decree 1727/2007, of December 21, establishing protection measures for cetaceans. For the purposes of this royal decree, it is considered that it may harm, disturb or disturb cetaceans:
a) Physical contact of boats or people with the cetacean or group of cetaceans.
b) Feeding animals, throwing food, drinks, garbage or any other type of object or solid or liquid substance that is harmful to cetaceans.
c) Prevent the free movement of cetaceans, intercept their trajectory, cut their path or cross a group of cetaceans, at any time and direction.
d) Separate or disperse the group of cetaceans and, especially, come in between an adult and its young.
e) Producing loud or shrill noises and sounds to try to attract or drive them away. Including making sounds underwater.
f) Bathing or diving in the Exclusion Zone of the Mobile Space for the Protection of Cetaceans.
Swimming with dolphins, whales or any other sea mammals in the wild is strictly prohibited and