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Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins is a species of bottlenose dolphin. This dolphin grows to 2.6 meters (8.5 ft) long, and weighs up to 230 kilograms (510 lb). It lives in the waters around India, northern Australia, South China, the Red Sea, and the eastern coast of Africa. Its back is dark grey and its belly is lighter grey or nearly white with grey spots.

Until 1998, all bottlenose dolphins were considered members of the single species T. truncatus. In that year, the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin was recognized as a separate species. The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is generally smaller than the common bottlenose dolphin, has a proportionately longer rostrum, and has spots on its belly and lower sides. It also has more teeth than the common bottlenose dolphin — 23 to 29 teeth on each side of each jaw compared to 21 to 24 for the common bottlenose dolphin. There is evidence the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin may actually be more closely related to certain dolphin species in the genera Stenella and Delphinus, especially the Atlantic spotted dolphin(S. frontalis), than it is to the common bottlenose dolphin.

Much of the old scientific data in the field combine data about the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin and the common bottlenose dolphin into a single group, making it effectively useless in determining the structural differences between the two species. The IUCN lists both species as data deficient in their Red List of endangered species because of this issue.

Description Edit

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are very similar to common bottlenose dolphins in appearance. Common bottlenose dolphins have a reasonably strong body, moderate-length beak, and tall, curved dorsal fins; whereas Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins have a more slender body build and their beak is longer and more slender. The Indo-Pacific population also tends to have a somewhat lighter blue colour and the cape is generally more distinct, with a light spinal blaze extending to below the dorsal fin. However, although not always present, the most obvious distinction can be made with the presence of black spots or flecks on the bellies of adults of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, which are very rare in common bottlenose dolphins. Their teeth can number between 23 and 29 in each upper and lower jaw, and are more slender than those of common bottlenose dolphins. Size of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins can vary based on geographic location however its average length is 2.6 meters (8.5 ft) long, and it weighs up to 230 kilograms (510 lb). Their length at birth is between 0.84 and 1.5 meters (2.8 and 4.9 ft).

Food Edit

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins feed on a wide variety of fish and cephalopods (particularly squid).

Behavior Edit

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins live in groups that can number in the hundreds, but groups of five to 15 dolphins are most common. In some parts of their range, they associate with the common bottlenose dolphin and other dolphin species, such as the humpback dolphin.

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