Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Dolphins

Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Description

The most recognizable species of dolphin worldwide, the bottlenose dolphin is also the largest of the beaked dolphins, weighing between 150-650kg and 2-4m in length (with males being larger than females). It is grey to dark grey in coloration with a white ventral side, a pronounced rostrum from which it gets its common name, and five unfused neck vertebrae making it much more flexible compared to other cetaceans. It lives in highly social groups usually consisting of 15 individuals, sometimes exceeding 100 individuals. Communication amongst bottlenose dolphins consists of a variety of different types of vocalization methods, including clicks emitted from their blowhole, whistles emitted from nasal sacs beneath the blowhole, and sounds emitted through body language (ex: leaping and tail slapping).

Habitat

Open-sea to coastal; coastal in resident populations

Diet

Bottlenose dolphins eat many kinds of prey, but mostly fish, squid and crustaceans

Protection Status

According to the IUCN Red List, the bottlenose dolphin in the Mediterranean is listed as “Vulnerable,” while its global status is listed as “Least Concern.” Its main threats are commercial fisheries, bycatch in driftnets, and water pollution.

Interesting Fact

The bottlenose dolphin has a larger brain than humans, and are used by militaries such as the U.S. Navy to locate sea mines

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