The Bottlenose Dolphin

– Le The Bottlenose Dolphin Scientific name: Tursiops truncatus (Tt)

It is undoubtedly the star of cetaceans because of various TV series, such as the inevitable "Flipper". Moreover, and unfortunately for it, the bottlenose dolphin adapts more easily than other species to life in captivity, which makes it popular in marine amusement parks.

The bottlenose dolphin is an extremely sociable animal that freely associates with other species and has a rather friendly behavior with humans. This success earned him to be captured by the US military during the Cold War, replacing soldiers and machines in the role of submarine deminer for example (ref: War of the Whales by Joshua Horwitz).

As the largest representative of the Delphinidae family, the bottlenose dolphin can be up to 3 meters long. It prefers to live in coastal waters although some pelagic groups have been observed offshore. This species is observed in all oceans but is not present in polar latitudes. Sexual maturity is reached around 10 years old for females, 2 or 3 years later for males. At the birth of the young ones, groups of females are created and help each other for their education.

Food wise, dolphins feed mainly on fish but it has been reported that some groups consume small calamari. Bottlenose dolphins hunt in groups and seem to use their sonar for communication purposes and maybe stunned. Many studies are still underway on this subject.

In the Bay: Several large dolphins have been observed in the Arcachon Bay for years. Françoise, the "star" has been observed since the 80s until the year 2000. A few years later, Randy, a young male, spent a brief stay in the Bay. He was then observed in La Rochelle. It is common that some fishermen or boaters report their observations of these animals along the “Arguin Bay” in the summer.

Like all cetaceans, bottlenose dolphins are protected by CITES Appendix II.

More information on the conservation status on the following link: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22563/0