Marine Mammals


Bottlenose dolphin
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The Common Bottlenose Dolphin (scient. Tursiops truncates) is a common species in Greek waters, widespread throughout the world. It is often found near the coasts of Crete, even very close to the shore, forming groups of up to 100 individuals. On the other hand, meeting that in the open sea is very rare. It is named bottlenose due to the animal having a short rounded snout that looks like a bottle.

It is classified as a sensitive species, facing a high risk of extinction as populations have reduced in the Mediterranean Sea during the last decades. The main reason for this decline is the reduction of their food, but they are also killed by some mindless fishermen because they steal fish from their nets.

Bottlenose dolphins hunt in groups, feeding on fish forming schools (such as sardine, mackerel, herring), cephalopods and sometimes crustaceans. They also like following ships and can swim very fast, reaching speeds of 35km/h.

The bottlenose dolphin has a length of 2.5-3m and can reach 350kg in weight. The color of its belly is usually light gray, white or pinkish-white and its back is dark gray. It can dive for 3 to 4 minutes at a depth of 300m, while it lives up to 40 years.

The bottlenose dolphin is famous as Fliper in aquariums around the world, due to the homonym movie. It is a very intelligent animal and is usually friendly to humans. Oftentimes it also plays with swimmers.

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