Bottlenose dolphin

best-known species of the dolphin family

A bottlenose dolphin is a kind of dolphin. The name "bottlenose" comes from its snout being shaped like a bottle. It breathes a hole on top of its head. It is intelligent, and its brain is large. Bottlenose dolphins are closely related to porpoises. They are skilled and accurate hunters which eat small fish.

Bottlenose dolphin
Bottlenose dolphin leaping in the bow wave of a boat
Size comparison against an average human
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Tursiops truncatus
Bottlenose dolphin range (in blue)

Bottlenose dolphins are grey, with dark grey near their blowhole (the small hole on the top of their head for breating). They are light grey on their belly. This is called countershading: it makes them less easy to see.

When it is grown up, it is about 2 to 4 meters (6.6 to 13.1ft) and about 150 to 650 kilograms (330 1430lb). The males are a usually a bit bigger than females. Dolphins which live in warm places are smaller than dolphins that live in cold places.


  1. Hammond, P.S.; Bearzi, G.; Bjørge, A.; Forney, K.A.; Karkzmarski, L.; Kasuya, T.; Perrin, W.F.; Scott, M.D.; Wang, J.Y.; Wells, R.S.; Wilson, B. (2012). "Tursiops truncatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. IUCN: e.T22563A17347397. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T22563A17347397.en. Retrieved 24 November 2016.