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Bottlenose Dolphin  - Tursiops truncatus
Photo by Scotty LaRosa

The bottlenose dolphin grows to 6-13 feet and weighs between 350-450 pounds on average. It has medium gray colorings on its back, and lighter gray to a white or pale pink on its underside. It has a well defined snout, or "beak". The bottlenose dolphin's brain is larger than that of a human's, and the species exhibits a wide range of vocalizations for communication. It is a very social species, and can typically be seen jumping and leaping during play or mating.

Bottlenose Dolphin
(Tursiops truncatus)

Temperate and tropical waters worldwide

Warm, shallow, coastal waters

Fish, squid, shrimp


The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
The bottlenose dolphin is a widely recognized species that is used in research and communication studies because it is highly intelligent.

Learn More
- The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology