Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Life of Bottlenose Dolphin

Life of Sea | Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) | Bottlenose Dolphin or Common Bottlenose Dolphin is probably the most famous dolphin. Because of their good adaptation, they can be found in cold temperate to tropical waters worldwide. They live along the coast, offshore, in shallow waters (under 30metres) along coasts and in the deep ocean waters 30m. In nature they are found in the Pacific, from Japan to northern Australia and southern California to Chile. In the Atlantic, they are found from Nova Scotia to Patagonia and from Norway to the tip of South Africa. In the Indian Ocean, are found from Australia to South Africa.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Cetacea
Family:     Delphinidae
Genus:     Tursiops, Gervais, 1855 

Bottlenose dolphin has a streamlined body shape. They are light to dark gray on their dorsal surface, fading to white or cream along their abdominal region. For adults, the length is 8 to 12 feet (2.5 to 3.8 m). These dolphins can weigh as much as 1430 pounds (650 kg) from Britain. In other parts of the world, they are much smaller. The males are considerably larger than females. Bottlenose dolphin can live for over 40 years. 

Bottlenose dolphins usually live in groups of 10-30 members, called pods, but group size varies from a few individuals to over 1,000. Their diet consists mainly of forage fish. Bottlenose dolphins often work as a team to harvest schools of fish, but also hunt individually. Bottlenose dolphins search for prey primarily using echolocation, which is similar to sonar. They emit clicking sounds and listen for the echo to the location and shape of nearby items, including possible to identify prey. Bottlenose dolphins also use sound for communication, including squeaks and whistles emitted from the blowhole and sounds through body language, such as jumping out of the water and hit their tail on the water surface. 

Dolphins have sharp eyesight. The eyes are located on the sides of the head and have a tapetum lucidum, or reflecting membrane at the back of the retina, which helps vision in dim light. Their horseshoe-shaped, double-slit pupil allows dolphins to have good vision both in air and under water, despite the different densities of these media. When underwater, the eye is the lens to focus light, while in the air surrounding the typically bright light serves to contract the special student, resulting in sharpness of a smaller aperture (similar to a pinhole camera).

In contrast, Bottlenose dolphin sense of smell is bad, because the blowhole, the analogue to the nose is closed and under water and is only open for breathing. It has no olfactory nerves and olfactory lobes in the brains. Bottlenose dolphins are capable of salty, sweet, bitter (quinine sulfate), and acid (citric acid) to detect taste, but this is not well studied. Anecdotally, some animals in captivity noted for fish food preferences, but it is unclear whether it mediates taste preference. 

There are many studies of the Bottlenose dolphin intelligence. Research on Bottlenose dolphins examined facial expressions, the use of artificial language, object categorization and self-recognition. Their high intelligence-driven interaction with people. Bottlenose dolphins are popular from aquarium shows and television programs such as Flipper. They are also trained by the military to locate sea mines or detecting marking enemy divers. In some areas, working together with local fishermen by driving fish into their nets and eating the fish escape. Some encounters with humans are harmful to dolphins: people hunt for food, and dolphins are accidentally slain as bycatch of tuna fishing.

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