Bottle-nosed dolphins are named for their snouts, which distinctly set off from the head, like the neck of a bottle. The animals are generally dark gray or black above, with a lighter belly. The length of an adult varies, from 6 and a half feet to 13 feet. Bottle-nosed dolphins have a prominent, curved dorsal fin with a thin trailing edge that readily tatters.
Bottle-nosed dolphins are coastal in most areas and remain in groups less than 20, although off shore varieties also exist in many places and, in deep water, groups can be as large as 200. Some populations make seasonal migrations. Bottle-nosed dolphins are often considered the most adaptable of the cetaceans beacouse they live a amid industrial activity around harbors and ship channels in many parts of the world.
There is some evidence for polygamous mating, in which there is no over aggressive competition by either males or females for access to mates. After a gestation period of about 12 months, a single calf is born. Calves nurse up to 18 months.
Bottle-nosed dolphins feed on many different types of prey, including shrimp, squid, other invertebrates, and fishes. The dolphins feed by nosing into near- shore rocky crevasses, by chasing fish onto mudbanks and snapping them up while they are beached, or by cooperatively herding prey into dense clusters, sometimes against a shore or up to the surface of the water.
Dolphins have an unusual way of fighting. Dolphins use there hard bottle like snout to crush its enemys bones, the enemy does not die instantly, the enemy dies of starvation because it cannot catch its prey. [continues]
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