MEET THE MARINE LIFE
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Image credit: PIXABAY
Scientific name: Tursiops truncatus
Bottlenose dolphins are often sighted close to shore alone or in small groups. Look out for boisterous splashing and breaching - and don't be surprised if they approach your boat to check you out!
Bottlenose dolphins are the most familiar of our dolphins, most likely to be seen in British waters and are the biggest of their kind – they need to be able to cope with our chilly waters! They can weigh up to 500kg and can live between 45 and 50 years.
The best places to see them are the Moray Firth in Scotland, Cardigan Bay in Wales and the coasts of Cornwall, Northumberland and North Wales.
They are very social animals and can often be seen in small groups of up to 15 dolphins. They love to jump out of the water and will happily approach boats to bowride (surfing in the waves created by the boat). They feed on fish, often working as a team to hunt.
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Image credit: PAUL EINERHAND / UNSPLASH
Individual bottlenose dolphins can be recognised from the unique pattern of nicks and notches on their dorsal fin - a bit like a fingerprint! Dolphins can then be tracked over their lifetime using only photos of their fins.
Bottlenose dolphins are identified by their chunky, fairly plain grey appearance - darker above and paler below. Their beak is short and stubby and their dorsal fin is large, sickle-shaped and often marked with notches and scratches. Bottlenose dolphins are often sighted close to shore alone or in small groups. Look out for boisterous splashing and breaching - and don't be surprised if they approach your boat to check you out!
Image credit: STEPHEN CHAMPION
Image credit: SIMONE SCHOLTEN / UNSPLASH.COM