Informations - Introduction
ATLANTIC BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncates)
The bottlenose dolphin is a self-aware mammal, not a fish. It breathes with lungs,
not gills. Their young are born alive, with hair and nurse for several years.
There are approximately 30 different types of dolphins in the group of toothed whales
known as Cetacea. Twenty-five are salt water and five are fresh water. Fresh water
dolphins are often born without eyes or totally blind.
The words dolphin and porpoise are often used interchangeably. However, if used
correctly, porpoise refers to only six members of Cetacea. Some differences between
dolphin and porpoise are: porpoise have a rounded face from their melon and have
spade shaped teeth, while dolphins have a defined beak or nose from their melon
and have conical or spiked teeth.
Most agreed that dolphins have intelligence comparable to humans. Dolphin's brains
are 1/3 larger than that of humans and in some areas are much more developed. Research
has proven dolphins possess the same fundamental ability to develop language as
They are aware of self, and their environment, and demonstrate the ability of abstract
thought, once thought to be only a human trait.
These are some reasons dolphins do so poorly in captivity, living less than half
their normal life.
All dolphins are whales but not all whales are dolphins. The Orca or killer whale
is the largest dolphin.
In nature they live well into their sixties, and seventies.
One sea park, in San Antonio, Texas, lost 8 Killer whales, known as "Shamu",
after being open only twelve short years, and that's just one park.
Primarily, our education concerning dolphins comes from Hollywood or some sea-park
or aquarium, where they swim in endless circles changed beyond recognition as their
species. As a result, most people have a very distorted perception of dolphins.
This information presents a realistic image of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.