Common bottlenose dolphin
The Common bottlenose dolphin (scientific name: Tursiops truncatus) is one of 36 species of Oceanic Dolphins in the family Delphinidae. A marine mammal, this cetacean is one of the most well-known species of dolphin.
Until recently, the Common bottlenose dolphin was viewed as the only species within genus Tursiops. However, the Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin is now recognized as a distinct separate species. Several subpopulations of Common bottlenose dolphins are being examined closely to determine whether they too should be recognized as separate species. For example, in coastal areas of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Common bottlenose dolphin is smaller than a larger, more robust form that lives mainly offshore. Three different populations have been identified in the North Pacific: a temperate-water group, a tropical-water group, and a coastal group. There is considerable variation in size and colour between populations of Tursiops truncatus worldwide.
This stocky species has a torpedo-shaped body, a short beak and pointed flippers . They are usually dark grey on the back with paler grey flanks and a white or pinkish belly . The sickle-shaped dorsal fin is tall, and positioned centrally on the back; variations in the shape of the dorsal fin along with scars and other markings on the skin can help researchers to identify individuals .
This active species engages in much energetic behaviour, including breaching (clearing the water), lobtailing (slapping the tail flukes down onto the surface of the water) and bow-riding (riding the swell created in front of boats and even large whales) . It has also been observed 'playing games' with seaweed and other objects.
Dolphins are highly intelligent animals; they have a sophisticated echolocation system and communicate via a range of sounds . Although lone individuals occur, this is typically a very sociable animal, living in groups numbering between 10 and 100 individuals; even larger groups may form offshore .
This species has a broad diet, with a wide variety of fish and invertebrates including cephalopods being taken. It varies its hunting methods greatly, and cooperative hunting has been observed in many areas. In Brazil, this species even hunts cooperatively with humans, driving fish into the nets of local fishers. In return, the dolphin takes its share of the fish.
Bottlenosed dolphins have a fusiform body that lacks many external characteristics of terrestrial mammals, including hair, external ears and hind limbs. A fusiform body reduces turbulence and allows bottlenosed dolphins to cruise underwater at high speeds. Dolphins have front flippers, a dorsal fin and flukes, which are used in swimming. The dorsal fin is tall, curved and set near the middle of the back. These dolphins are typically black to a light gray on their sides, and their bellies are white, sometimes with a slight pink hue.
As noted, there is considerable variation in size and colour between populations of Tursiops truncatus worldwide. Bottlenosed dolphins are typically 84 to 140 centimetres (cm) at birth, and typically have a birth body mass between 14 and 20 kilograms (kg). Adult males are usually between 244 and 381 cm long, and weigh about 500 kg. Adult females are typically between 228 and 366 cm, and weigh about 250 kg. This sexual dimorphism may be a result of females using energy to achieve sexual maturity at a earlier age than males, while males continue to grow.The European bottle-nosed dolphin tends to be larger and browner than those in the west Altlantic.
Bottlenose dolphins have widely spaced eyes, relatively long flippers, a rounded forehead (called a melon), a relatively short, broad snout, and a mouth that seems permanently twisted into a grin. The dorsal fin is tall and backward-curving from the middle of the back. There are between 18 and 26 pairs of large teeth in each jaw. This dolphin species regularly surfaces to breathe, the maximum time spent under water being about seven minutes.
As is true of all present day Cetacea, the skulls of bottlenosed dolphins are telescoped; that is, the rostra are elongated and tapered anteriorly and the nostrils are moved dorsally. This allows dolphins to breathe more easily during swimming. Bottlenosed dolphins are homeotherms and endotherms. They use insulation, in the form of blubber, a relatively small surface area due to their large body sizes, and vascular shunts that allow selective cooling of certain organs and tissues to help thermoregulate. Bottlenosed dolphins have a thermoneutral zone of 13 to 28 degrees Celsius. If the temperature of their environment drops below 13 degrees Celsius or rises above 28 degrees Celsius, their metabolism enters a sub-optimal region.
Key behaviors: natatorial; diurnal; nocturnal; motile; migratory; sedentary; social; dominance hierarchies. Bottlenosed dolphins are exceptionally social animals. They typically live in groups that range in size from a few individuals to over 100, with a group size of fewer than twenty being most common; groups of over 1000 have been recorded at some distance offshore. They participate in fission-fusion societies in which subgroups frequently join or leave the main group.
T.truncatus is a very active mammal and can swim up to speeds of 30 km/hr, although on average the cruising speed ranges from three to six km/hr. The species is noted for racing alongside watercraft. They form several kinds of groups, including nursery groups (mothers and calves), juvenile groups (young dolphins of both genders up to their mid-teens), and adult males (can be found individually or more commonly as bonded pairs).
Bottlenosed dolphins may engage in aggressive behavior including biting, ramming, and tail slaps; and bonding and acceptance behavior, including stroking and rubbing. Captive dolphin groups are characterized by a dominance hierarchy based on age, size and gender. Large adult males are dominant over other group members. In the absence of males, the largest female assumes dominance.
Bottlenosed dolphins are highly intelligent animals. In captivity this intelligence is demonstrated by their ability to solve problems in experimental trials as well as during their everyday lives. Their cognitive skills are reflected by the speed and effectiveness by which they acquire and perfect behaviors.
Deep water bottlenosed dolphins come up to take breaths every one to two minutes, whereas inshore bottlenosed dolphins take breaths two times per minute. Bottlenosed dolphins have been known, however, to dive deep enough to go 4.5 minutes without taking a breath.
One may wonder how dolphins, as marine animals that must surface to breathe every few minutes, sleep. It turns out that they rest one side of their brains while decreasing their activity level. This allows them rest and yet remain ‘conscious’ to breathe and carry on basic survival behaviors.
Bottlenosed dolphins also participate in epimeletic behavior, that is, they aid in the recuperation of injured dolphins. This behavior may include protecting the injured dolphin from threats as well as holding the injured dolphin at the surface. Epimeletic behavior is most commonly found among mothers of calves that have died.
Some stay in coastal waters and others swim offshore. In the Atlantic, the coastal dolphins feed mostly on sea trout, croakers, and spot. The offshore population follows the Gulf Stream and feeds on deep-water fish and squid.
Density estimates of bottlenosed dolphins range from 0.06 to 1.22 dolphins per square kilometer.The population density appears to be higher inshore. A group's home range is typically 125 square kilometers.
Source: Bas Kers/Encyclopedia of Life
Source: Bas Kers/Encyclopedia of Life
Source: JCVD100//Encyclopedia of Life
Voice and Sound Production
Bottlenosed dolphins use sound to communicate with other members of their species. They use both sounds in the range audilble to humans as well as high frequency echolocation.
Each dolphin is thought to possess its own signature whistle and, once it is developed, it is retained for the duration of the dolphin’s life. Kin recognize one another by their whistles and these sounds help maintain group cohesion. Signature whistles develop in calves as young as one month, allowing them to maintain contact with their mother. Surprisingly, the signature whistle of a male calf tends to resemble its mother's more than that of a female calf. The signature whistle also gives the location and emotional state of each dolphin.
Bottlenosed dolphins also navigate with echolocation, used to detect bottom topography, prey, and the presence of predators. It is even sometimes used to stun prey. Echolocation calls pass through the melon and intramandibular fat body, which contain acoustic lipids; these structures serve as acoustic lenses to focus sound. The intramandibular fat bodies focus sound to each ear, while the melon is used as a lens to focus outgoing sound.
Bottlenosed dolphins also use vision to perceive their surroundings. Like those of humans, their eyes contain rods and cones, but they are not used in the same way as humans. Cones, for example, are used to provide good acuity when light levels are high. These and other adaptations allow dolphins to use their vision at different times of the day and at different depths.
The species mating system is polygynandrous (promiscuous) and T.truncata is a cooperative breeder. Key reproductive features are: Iteroparous; Year-round breeding; Gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); Sexual; Viviparous.
Female dolphins typically reach sexual maturity between five and ten years of age, while males reach sexual maturity between eight and 13 years old. Sexual maturity is usually achieved years before reproduction; males that reach sexual maturity at age ten don’t typically breed until they are at approximately 20 years old. Females produce a single calf in the summer after a gestation period of 12 months. The calf suckles for up to 18 months.
Reproductive seasons vary from region to region. Typically, females ovulate at a particular time of year while males are active throughout the year (but with a peak of testosterone production when females ovulate). Bottlenosed dolphins are polygamous. They engage in mating behavior in either of two ways, in alliances or individually.
Males that form alliances look for females that are in estrous. When males find a female in estrous they separate her from her home range for a chance to mate with her. Sometimes they flank the female to prevent access by other males to insure that only they have the opportunity to mate with her. Waiting for a female to become receptive can take several weeks.
Some males do not engage in alliances, instead remaining in their home ranges. When an estrous female enters the home range of such a male, he attempts to attract her to mate. During courtship, a male postures by arching his back. He strokes and nuzzles the female, and he may clap his jaws or yelp.
Bottlenosed dolphin copulation typically occurs belly-to-belly with both animals facing the same direction, although an animal facing the opposite direction is not uncommon. Intromission lasts only around 10 seconds and involves vigorous pelvis thrusts.
Gestation lasts about 12 months and each pregnancy produces one calf. Females nurse their young from nipples on each side of their genital slit until the calf is between 18 and 20 months. Females provide the bulk of parental investment, investing especially heavily during lactation. Lactating females require 88 to 153 cal/kg as opposed to non-lactating females that typically require 34 to 67 cal/kg.
Bottlenosed dolphins participate in allomaternal care, that is, all of the females within a group help care for each others' offspring. When a bottlenosed dolphin calf is born, it learns to ride the pressure waves alongside its mother during its first few days. The mother assists the calf to keep it alongside her body. Females also protect calves from predators.
The female Bottlenosed dolphin reproduces every three to six years, with females usually becoming pregnant soon after their calf is weaned. Calves can be born at any time of the year but with a peak in birthing during warmer months. Females can reproduce well into their late forties.
Male bottlenosed dolphins typically live about 40 to 45 years and female dolphins can live over 50 years (the oldest female documented lived to be 53 years old). Bottlenosed dolphins are threatened by a variety of factors, both natural and of human origin. Natural mortality is due to injury, disease and predation.
Because in many cases dolphins are found in shallow waters, they frequently encounter an assortment of human activities. Recreational fishing gear causes many deaths when dolphins become entangled in nets or swallow fishing hooks.
Dolphins are sometimes preyed upon by sharks, although this is may be less of a problem now than in the past due to declining shark populations. One of the largest and most serious threats to bottlenosed dolphins is environmental contamination, caused mainly by the increase of human development along shorelines. Chemicals of human origin find their way into coastal ecosystems through runoff from agriculture, residential and industrial sources.
Distribution and Movements
Bottlenosed dolphins are found in all the world's saline seas and oceans except polar waters. Bottlenosed dolphins are found in bays, estuaries, sounds, open shorelines and large estuarine rivers. The species typically occupies waters with surface temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although some bottlenosed dolphins migrate seasonally (for example, populations along the Atlantic coast), they are typically found in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters.
Distribution of the Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Source: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Bottlenosed dolphins are commonly found in coastal waters and along main shipping routes and may be found from deep coastal waters into the shallow water off river entrances, but not in freshwater.
The diet of bottlenosed dolphins is broad and varies with geographic location. Inshore bottlenosed dolphins typically feed on fish and invertebrates found near the shoreline, while deep water bottlenosed dolphins typically feed on squid and pelagic fish.
Bottlenosed dolphins found along the U.S. Atlantic coast typically feed on Atlantic croakers (Micropogonias undulatus), ‘spot’ fish (Leistomomus xanthurus), and silver perch (Bairdiella chrysoura), while dolphins in South Africa typically feed on African massbankers (Trachurus delagoae), olive grunters (Pomadasys olivaceum), and pandora (Pagellus bellotti).
Bottlenosed dolphins typically choose prey between five and 30 cm in length. They eat between 4.5 and 16 kg per day, depending on the size of the individual and if it is lactating. Most of the time, bottlenosed dolphins feed individually. At times, however, dolphins participate in cooperative feeding with other dolphins, especially when feeding on a school of prey. They have also been known to trap their prey on the shore, stranding themselves in order to feed on stranded prey ("strand feeding").
In some cases dolphins use echolocation calls to stun their prey. Some bottlenosed dolphins use passive listening rather than echolocation to locate prey. When prey is detected, these dolphins either rush in or alert others of the prey’s presence.
Source: John H. Tashjian/California Academy of Sciences
Near Egmont Key, Tampa Bay, Florida. Source: Bartolomeo Gorgoglione/Encyclopedia of Life
Sea World, San Diego, California. Source: Tanya Dewey/Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
The sharp teeth of these dolphins allow them to grasp prey while the tongue maneuvers prey down the throat. Dolphins teeth are not used to chew and prey is typically swallowed whole. They may break up their prey by shaking it in the air and striking it with their tails, called fish-whacking. Bottlenosed dolphins in Australia have sometimes been observed to mount a sponge on their rostrum to protect their snouts as they forage on the bottom. They have also been known to follow the boats of fisherman and catch discarded prey or bait.
They are hosts for a few species of parasites including the fluke Braunina cordiformis, tapeworms such as Monorygma delphini, roundworms (Anisakis marina), and thorny-headed worms (Corynosoma cetaceum).
The most common predators of bottlenosed dolphins are the larger sharks, such as Bull (Carcharhinus leucas), Tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier), and Dusky sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus). These sharks prey on smaller dolphins, calves and female dolphins rather than large dolphins. It is not uncommon to observe dolphins with shark bites, demonstrating their survival of an attack. Blubber may provide some protection against such predators.
Many shark populations have decreased up to 80 percent since 1970, so that some populations of dolphins may be experiencing lower predation by sharks. More recently, stingrays have been recognized as causing deaths in bottlenosed dolphin populations.
Economic Importance for Humans
Humans receive a considerable amount of economic gain from Bottlenosed dolphins including ecotourism, research and education benefits. They are often used in captivity to swim with humans and perform. Dolphins are used in tours in which participants are educated about the lives of dolphins and encouraged to preserve their livelihood and habitat. There are no known adverse effects of Tursiops truncatus on humans.
Bottlenosed dolphins have also been known to fish cooperatively with humans, letting Brazilian fishermen, for example, know when and where to drop their nets. Bottlenosed dolphins are used for research by the U.S. Navy on echolocation and thermoregulation. These research dolphins have also helped navy divers to find submerged objects in the ocean. Research on bottlenosed dolphins has contributed substantially to our understanding of social communication and behavior and the nature of animal intelligence. (Reynolds et al., 2000)
Threats and Conservation Status
The bottlenose dolphin faces a number of threats including human disturbance, entanglement in fishing nets, and hunting. Like all cetaceans it is vulnerable to chemical and noise pollution. The captivity industry that supplies the world aquarium trade is also a problem .
Bottlenosed dolphins are found in most of the world's saline waters and thus are protected by a wide variety of national laws. Bottlenosed dolphins in the United States are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. The goal of this Act is to allow marine species to obtain optimum sustainable population levels keeping in mind the carrying capacity of the habitat. Anyone who removes a marine animal (e.g., a dolphin) without proper procedure faces fines up to $20,000 or periods of incarceration up to one year. There are currently eleven stocks of Tursiops truncatus in U.S. waters, five of which occur in the Gulf of Mexico. The Western North Atlantic Coastal stock is listed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act as "depleted" i.e., below the optimum sustainable population.
The Bottlenose dolphin is a United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) priority species . It is protected in UK waters by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Orders 1985; it is illegal to intentionally kill, injure, or harass any cetacean species in UK waters .
The Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS), has been signed by seven European countries, this includes the UK. Provision is made under this agreement to set up protected areas, promote research and monitoring, pollution control and increase public awareness . Under Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive, candidate marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACS) are being set up for this species in Cardigan Bay (Wales) and the Moray Firth (northeast Scotland) .
Bottlenosed dolphins are also protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Bill of 1998 in Australia. This bill is applied to waters up to 200 miles from the shores of Australia. It involves environmental impact assessments, conservation of biodiversity and endangered species as well as management of protected areas.
Although there are laws that protect bottlenosed dolphins, humans need to become more aware of the way our daily lives affect the livelihood of dolphins. Much of the environmental contamination found in the habitats of bottlenose dolphins are caused by humans. Common pollutants found in the tissues of dolphin are polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), used as dielectric fluids in coolants, lubricators and transformers, and pesticide DDTs (1,1-bis-(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2,2-trichloroethane). Eighty percent of the total amount of these toxins in a female dolphin may be transferred through breast milk to its calf, causing suppression of the immune system or in some cases death. It is one thing to make sure that we are not removing dolphins from their habitats but it is also important to make sure their habitats are not being destroyed by our negligence.
IUCN Red List: Least Concern (LC)
US Federal List: No special status
CITES: Appendix II of CITES
EC Habitats Directive: Annex II and IV
North and Baltic Sea populations, western Mediterranean and Black Sea populations are included in Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn Convention), and Appendix II of the Bern Convention .
All cetaceans (whales and dolphins) are listed on Annex A of EU Council Regulation 338/97; they are therefore treated by the EU as if they are included in CITES Appendix I, so that commercial trade is prohibited. In the UK all cetaceans are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order, 1985 .
Hammond, P.S., Bearzi, G., Bjørge, A., Forney, K., Karczmarski, L., Kasuya, T., Perrin, W.F., Scott, M.D., Wang, J.Y., Wells, R.S. & Wilson, B. 2008. Tursiops truncatus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4.
Accessed 31 March 2011.
- Cawardine, M., Hoyt, E., Fordyce, R.E. and Gill, P. (1998) Whales and Dolphins, The Ultimate Guide to Marine Mammals. Harper Collins Publishers, London.
- CITES (March, 2008) http://www.cites.org
- United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan (June, 2002)
- Cawardine, M. (1995) Whales, dolphins and porpoises. Dorling Kindersley, London.
- Animal Diversity Web (June, 2002)
- Macdonald, D. (2001) The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- WDCS (June, 2002)
- Fautin D, Dalton P, Incze LS, Leong J-AC, Pautzke C, et al. 2010. An Overview of Marine Biodiversity in United States Waters. PLoS ONE 5: e11914. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011914
- Anonymous, (1999e). Small dolphins. Grouped Species Action Plan.
- Biodiversity Steering Group, (1995). Biodiversity: the UK Steering Group report, vol. 1 & 2. London: HMSO.
- Bruyns, W.F.J.M., (1971). Field guide of whales and dolphins. Amsterdam: Publishing Company Tors.
- Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E. (ed.), (1997). The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]
- Jefferson, T.A., Leatherwood, S. & Webber, M.A., (1994). FAO species identification guide. Marine mammals of the world. Rome: United Nations Environment Programme, Food and Agriculture
- Organization of the United Nations.
- Marine Connection & Wildlife Trusts, (2007). The southwest dolphin report.
- NOAA (2010). Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).
- Baines, M. E., Reichelt, M., Evans, P. G. H. and Shepherd, B. 2002. Comparison of the abundance and distribution of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cardigan Bay, UK. 16th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Liege, Belgium.
- Baines, M. E., Reichelt, M., Evans, P. G. H. and Shepherd, B. 2002. Comparison of the abundance and distribution of harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Cardigan Bay, UK. 16th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Liege, Belgium.
- Banks, R. C., R. W. McDiarmid, A. L. Gardner, and W. C. Starnes. 2003. Checklist of Vertebrates of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and Canada
- Banks, R. C., R. W. McDiarmid, and A. L. Gardner. 1987. Checklist of Vertebrates of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and Canada. Resource Publication, no. 166. 79
- Barabasch-Nikiforov, I. I. 1960. Measurements and coloration of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Montagu) as the criterion for their subspecies differentiation. Nauch. Dokl. Vys. Shkoly, Biol. Sci. 1: 35-42.
- Barlow, J. 2006. Cetacean abundance in Hawaiian waters estimated from a summer/fall survey in 2002. Marine Mammal Science 22(2): 446-464.
- Barlow, J. and Forney, K. A. 2007. Abundance and density of cetaceans in the California Current ecosystem. Fishery Bulletin.
- Barros, N. B. and Odell, D. K. 1990. Food habits of bottlenose dolphins in the southeastern United States. In: S. Leatherwood and R. R. Reeves (eds), The bottlenose dolphin, pp. 309-328. Academic Press.
- Barros, N. B. and Wells, R. S. 1998. Prey and feeding patterns of resident bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 79(3): 1045-1059.
- Bearzi, G. and Fortuna, C. M. 2006. Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Mediterranean subpopulation). In: R. R. Reeves and G. Notarbartolo di Sciara (eds), The status and distribution of cetaceans in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, pp. 64-73. IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Malaga, Spain.
- Bearzi, G., Holcer, D. and Notarbartolo Di Sciara, G. 2004. The role of historical dolphin takes and habitat degradation in shaping the present status of northern Adriatic cetaceans. Aquatic Conservation of Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 14: 363-379.
- Bearzi, G., Politi, E., Agazzi, S. and Azzellino, A. 2006. Prey depletion caused by overfishing and the decline of marine megafauna in eastern Ionian Sea coastal waters (central Mediterranean). Biological Conservation 127(4): 373-382.
- Birkun, A. 2006. Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus ponticus): Black Sea subspecies. In: R. R. Reeves and G. Notarbartolo di Sciara (eds), The status and distribution of cetaceans in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, pp. 74-83. IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Malaga, Spain.
- Birkun Jr., A. A. 2002. Direct killing and live capture: Black Sea. In: G. N. D. Sciara (ed.), Cetaceans of the Mediterranean and Black Seas: State of knowledge and conservation strategies, pp. 31-38. ACCOBAMS Secretariat, Monaco.
- Blanco, C., Salomon, O. and Raga, J. A. 2001. Diet of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the western Mediterranean Sea. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 81: 1053-1058.
- Bloch, D. 1998. A review of marine mammals observed, caught or stranded over the last two centuries in Faroese Waters. Shetland Sea Mammal Report 1997.
- Bloch, D. and Mikkelsen, B. 2000. Preliminary estimates of seasonal abundance and food consumption of marine mammals in Faroese waters. NAMMCO.
- Borges, P.A.V., Costa, A., Cunha, R., Gabriel, R., Gonçalves, V., Martins, A.F., Melo, I., Parente, M., Raposeiro, P., Rodrigues, P., Santos, R.S., Silva, L., Vieira, P. & V.Vieira (Eds) 2010. A list of the terrestrial and marine biota from the Azores. Princípia, Oeiras, 432 pp.
- Borrell, A., Aguilar, A., Tornero, V., Sequeira, M., Fernandez, G. and Alis, S. 2005. Organochlorine compounds and stable isotopes indicate bottlenose dolphin subpopulation structure around the Iberian Peninsula. Environment International 32(4): 516-523.
- Buckland, S. T., Smith, T. and Cattanach, K. L. 1992. Status of small cetacean populations in the Black Sea: a review of current information and suggestions for future research. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 42: 513-516.
- Camphuysen, Kees
- Canadas, A. and Hammond, P. S. 2006. Model-based abundance estimates for bottlenose dolphins off southern Spain: Implications for conservation and management. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 8(1): 13-28.
- Carretta, J. V., Forney, K. A., Muto, M. M., Barlow, J., Baker, J., Hanson, J. and Lowry, M. S. 2006. U.S. Pacific marine mammal stock assessments: 2005. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SWFSC.
- Curry, B. E. and Smith, J. 1997. Phylogeographic structure of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): stock identification and implications for management. In: A. E. Dizon, S. J. Chivers and W. F. Perrin (eds), Molecular genetics of marine mammals, pp. 227-247. The Society of Marine Mammalogy, Allen Press, Lawrence.
- Dolar, M. L. L., Perrin, W. F., Taylor, B. L., Kooyman, G. L. and Alava, M. N. R. 2006. Abundance and distributional ecology of cetaceans in the central Philippines. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 8(1): 93-112.
- Dudzik, K. J., Baker, K. M. and Weller, D. W. 2006. Mark-recapture abundance estimate of California coastal stock bottlenose dolphins: February 2004 to April 2005. Southwest Fisheries Center Administrative Report LJ-06-02C: 15 pp.
- Dunkin RC; McLellan WA; Blum JE; Pabst DA. 2005. The ontogenetic changes in the thermal properties of blubber from Atlantic bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncates. Journal of Experimental Biology. 208: 1469-1480.
- Evans, P. G. H., Baines, M. E., Shepherd, B. and Reichelt, M. 2002. Studying bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) abundance, distribution, habitat use and home range size in Cardigan Bay: implications for SAC management. European Cetacean Society 16th Annual Conference: 12 pp.. Liège, Belgium.
- Felder, D.L. and D.K. Camp (eds.), Gulf of Mexico–Origins, Waters, and Biota. Biodiversity. Texas A&M Press, College Station, Texas.
- Fisher, S. J. and Reeves, R. R. 2005. The global trade in live cetaceans: Implications for conservation. Journal of International Wildlife Law and Policy 8: 315-340.
- Forcada, J., Gazo, M., Aguilar, A., Gonzalvo, J. and Fernandez-Contreras, M. 2004. Bottlenose dolphin abundance in the NW Mediterranean: Addressing heterogeneity in distribution. Marine Ecology Progress Series 275: 275-287.
- Gaspar, R. 2003. Status of the resident bottlenose dolphin population in the Sado estuary: past, present, and future. PhD Thesis, University of St Andrews.
- Geptner V. G., Naumov, N. P., Urgenson, M. B., Sludskiy, A. A., Chirkova A. F. and Bannikov, A. G. 1976. The Mammals of the Soviet Union, Vol. 2, Part 1: Carnivora. Vischay Shkola, Moscow, Russia.
- Gordon, D. (Ed.) (2009). New Zealand Inventory of Biodiversity. Volume One: Kingdom Animalia. 584 pp
- Grellier, K. and Wilson, B. 2003. Bottlenose dolphins using the Sound of Barra, Scotland. Aquatic Mammals 29(3): 378-382.
- Guiry, M.D. & Guiry, G.M. (2011). Species.ie version 1.0 World-wide electronic publication, National University of Ireland, Galway (version of 15 March 2010).
- Haase, P. and Schneider, K. 2001. Birth demographics of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater 35: 675-680.
- Hammond, D. D. and Leatherwood, S. 1984. Cetaceans live-captured for Ocean Park, Hong Kong April 1974-February 1983. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 34: 491-495.
- Harrison, R. and M.M. Brayden. 1988. Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. Intercontinental Publishing Corporation, New York.
- Hoelzel, A. R., Potter, C. W. and Best, P. B. 1998. Genetic differentiation between parapatric 'nearshore' and 'offshore' populations of the bottlenose dolphin. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 265: 1177-1183.
- Ilangakoon, A. 1997. Species composition, seasonal variation, sex ratio and body length of small cetaceans caught off west, south-west and south coast of Sri Lanka. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 94: 298-306.
- Ingram, S. N. 2000. The ecology and conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Shannon estuary. University College.
- International Whaling Commission. 1992. Report of the scientific committee. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 42: 51-270.
- IUCN (2008) Cetacean update of the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- Jackson, J. B. C., Kirby, M. X., Berger, W. H., Bjorndal, K. A., Botsford, L. W., Bourque, B. J., Bradbury, R. H., Cooke, R., Erlandson, J., Estes, J. A., Hughes, T. P., Kidwell, S., Lange, C. B., Lenihan, H. S., Pandolfi, J. M., Peterson, C. H., Steneck, R. S., Tegner, M. J. and Warner, R. R. 2001. Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems. Science 293: 629-637.
- Jan Haelters
- Jefferson, T., M. Webber, R. Pitman. 2008. Marine Mammals of the World. Burlington, MA: Academic Press.
- Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood and M.A. Webber. 1993. Marine mammals of the world. FAO Species Identification Guide. Rome. 312 p.
- Kannan, K., Blankenship, A. L., Jones, P. D. and Geisy, J. P. 2000. Toxicity reference values for the toxic effects of polychlorinated biphenyls to aquatic mammals. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 6: 181-201.
- Kasuya, T. 1985. Effect of exploitation on reproductive parameters of the spotted and striped dolphins off the Pacific coast of Japan. Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute 36: 107-138.
- Kasuya, T. 2007. Japanese Whaling and other cetacean fisheries. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 10: 39-48.
- Keller, R.W., S. Leatherwood & S.J. Holt (1982). Indian Ocean Cetacean Survey, Seychelle Islands, April to June 1980. Rep. Int. Whal. Commn 32, 503-513.
- Klinowska, M. 1991. Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales of the World. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
- Kerr, K. A., Defran, R. H. and Campbell, G. S. 2005. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Drowned Cayes, Belize: Group size, site fidelity and abundance. Caribbean Journal of Science 41: 172-177.
- Kleinenberg, S. E. 1956. Marine mammals of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Results of joint biological-commercial dolphin whaling studies. USSR Academy of Science Press.
- Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen: Beheerseenheid Mathematisch Model Noordzee en Schelde-estuarium: Oostende
- Koukouras, Athanasios. (2010). Check-list of marine species from Greece. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Assembled in the framework of the EU FP7 PESI project.
- Lahvis, G. P., Wells, R. S., Kuehl, D. W., Stewart, J. L., Rhinehart, H. L. and Via, C. S. 1995. Decreased lymphocyte responses in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are associated with increased concentrations of PCBs and DDT in peripheral blood. Environmental Health Perspectives 103: 67-72.
- Leatherwood, S. and Reeves, R. R. 1982. Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus and other toothed cetaceans. In: J. A. Chapman and G. A. Feldhammer (eds), Wild mammals of North America, pp. 369-414. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.
- Leatherwood, S. and Reeves, R. R. 1991. Marine mammal research and conservation in Sri Lanka 1985-1986. UNEP Marine Mammal Technical Report. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya.
- Leatherwood, S. and Reeves, R. R. (eds). 1990. The Bottlenose Dolphin. pp. 1-653. Academic Press.
- Leduc, R. G. and Curry, B. E. 1997. Mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis indicates need for revision of the genus Tursiops. Report of the International Whaling Commission 47: 393.
- Liret, C., Creton, P., Evans, P. G. H., Heimlich-Boran, J. R. and Ridoux, V. 1998. English and French coastal Tursiops from Cornwall to the Bay of Biscay, 1996. Photo-Identification Catalogue. Ministere de Environnement, France and Sea Watch Foundation, UK.
- Lowery, G.H. Jr. 1974. The Mammals of Louisiana and Its Adjacent Waters. Kingsport Press, Inc., Knoxville, TN.
- MEDIN (2011). UK checklist of marine species derived from the applications Marine Recorder and UNICORN, version 1.0.
- Mead, James G., and Robert L. Brownell, Jr. / Wilson, Don E., and DeeAnn M. Reeder, eds. 2005. Order Cetacea. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 3rd ed., vol. 1. 723-743
- Mead, J. G. and Potter, C. W. 1995. Recognizing two populations of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) off the Atlantic coast of North America- morphologic and ecologic considerations. IBI Reports 5: 31-44.
- Miyashita, T. 1993. Abundance of dolphin stocks in the western North Pacific taken by the Japanese drive fishery. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 43: 417-437.
- Miyazaki, N. 1983. Catch statistics of small cetaceans taken in Japanese waters. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 33: 621-631.
- Montagu 1821. Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society, 3:75, pl. 3.
- Mullin, K. D. 2006. Abundance of cetaceans in the oceanic Gulf of Mexico based on 2003-2004 ship surveys.
- Müller, Y. (2004). Faune et flore du littoral du Nord, du Pas-de-Calais et de la Belgique: inventaire. [Coastal fauna and flora of the Nord, Pas-de-Calais and Belgium: inventory]. Commission Régionale de Biologie Région Nord Pas-de-Calais: France. 307 pp.
- NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources: Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
- Natoli, A., Birkun, A., Aguilar, A., Lopez, A. and Hoelzel, A. R. 2005. Habitat structure and the dispersal of male and female bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 272: 1217-1226.Nikoli R; Marinovic-Cincovic M; Gadzuric S; Zsigrai IJ. 2003. New materials for solar thermal storage—solid/ liquid transitions in fatty acid esters. Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells. 79: 285-292.
- North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
- Nowak, R.M. and J.L Paradiso. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World. 4th edition. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.
- Öztürk, B. 1999. Black Sea Biological Diversity: Turkey. United Nations Publication, New York, USA.
- Pauly, D., V., Christensen, Dalsgaard, J., Froese, R. and Torres Jr., F. 1998. Fishing Down Marine Food Webs. Science 279(5352): 860.
- Perrin, W. (2011). Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821). In: Perrin, W.F. World Cetacea Database. Accessed through: Perrin, W.F. World Cetacea Database
- Perrin, W. F. 1989. Dolphins, porpoises, and whales. An action plan for the conservation of biological diversity: 1988-1992. IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group.
- Ramos, M. (ed.). 2010. IBERFAUNA. The Iberian Fauna Databank
- Read, A. J., Van Waerebeek, K., Reyes, J. C., Mckinnon, J. S. and Lehman, L. C. 1988. The exploitation of small cetaceans in coastal Peru. Biological Conservation 46: 53-70.
- Read, A. J., Waples, D. M., Urian, K. W. and Swanner, D. 2003. Fine-scale behaviour of bottlenose dolphins around gillnets. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 270: S90-92.
- Reeves, R. R. and Notarbartolo Di Sciara, G. 2006. The status and distribution of cetaceans in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, Malaga, Spain.
- Reeves, R. R., Read, A. J. and Notarbartolo Di Sciara, G. 2001. Report of the workshop on interactions between dolphins and fisheries in the Mediterranean: evaluation of mitigation alternatives. ICRAM, Rome, Italy.
- Reeves, R. R., Smith, B. D., Crespo, E. A. and Notarbartolo di Sciara, G. 2003. Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises: 2002-2010 Conservation Action Plan for the World's Cetaceans. IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
- Reeves, R., B. Stewart, P. Clapham, J. Powell. 2002. Sea Animals of the World. New York: A & C Black Publishers.
- Reyes, J. C. 1991. The conservation of small cetaceans: a review.
- Reynolds, J. E., Wells, R. S. and Eide, S. D. 2000. The bottlenose dolphin: biology and conservation. University Press of Florida.
- Reynolds, III, J., R. Wells, S. Eide. 2000. The Bottlenosed Dolphin. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.
- Reynolds, III, J., R. Wells. 2003. Dolphins, Whales, and Manatees. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida.
- Rice, Dale W. 1998. Marine Mammals of the World: Systematics and Distribution. Special Publications of the Society for Marine Mammals, no. 4. ix + 231
- Richard Weigl (2005) Longevity of Mammals in Captivity; from the Living Collections of the World. Kleine Senckenberg-Reihe 48: Stuttgart.
- Ridgway, S., S. Harrison. 1999. Handbook of Marine Mammals. London: Academic Press.
- Ronald Nowak (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore.
- Sanino, G. P., Van Waerebeek, K., Van, M. F. Bressem and Pastene, L. A. 2005. A preliminary note on population structure in eastern South Pacific common bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 7(1): 65-70.
- Santos, M. B., Pierce, G. J., Reid, R. J., Patterson, A. P., Ross, H. M. and Mente, E. 2001. Stomach contents of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Scottish waters. Journal of the Marine Biological Association and United Kingdom 81: 873-878.
- Schwacke, L. H., Voit, E. O., Hansen, L. J., Wells, R. S., Mitchum, G. B., Hohn, A. A. and Fair, P. A. 2002. Probabilistic risk assessment of reproductive effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the southeast United States coast. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 21(12): 2752-2764.
- Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
- Sigurjonsson, J. and Gunnlaugsson, T. 1990. Recent trends in abundance of blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off West and Southwest Iceland, with a note on occurrence of other cetacean species. Report of the International Whaling Commission 40: 537-551.
- Sigurjónsson, J., Gunnlaugsson, T. and Payne, M. 1989. Shipboard sighting surveys in Icelandic and adjacent waters June-July 1987. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 39: 395-409.
- Slijper, E.J. (1938). Die Sammlung rezenter Cetacea des Musée Royal d'Histoire Naturelle de Belgique [The collection of recent Cetacea of the Musée Royal d'Histoire Naturelle de Belgique]. Bull. Mus. royal d'Hist. Nat. Belg./Med. Kon. Natuurhist. Mus. Belg. 14: 1-33
- Sokolov, V. E., and E. V. Romanenko, eds. 1997. The Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus ponticus: Morpohology, Physiology, Acoustics, Hydrodynamics. 672
- Spradlin, T. R., Gulland, F. M. D., Wells, R. S., Ragen, T. J. and Rowles, T. K. 2005. Review of marine mammal Unusual Mortality Events in the United States: 1992-2005. 16th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. San Diego, CA.
- Tomilin, A. G. 1957. Mammals of the USSR and adjacent countries. Vol. IV. Cetaceans. USSR Academy of Science Publishing House, Moskou, Russia.
- Tributsch, H. 1984. How life learned to live. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. 218 p.
- UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms
- Van Waerebeek, K., Reyes, J. C., Read, A. J. and Mckinnon, J. S. 1990. Preliminary observations of bottlenose dolphins from the Pacific coast of South America. In: S. Leatherwoodand R. R. Reeves (ed.), The bottlenose dolphin, pp. 143-154. Academic Press.
- Van Waerebeek, K., Sequeira, M., Williamson, C., Sanino, G. P., Gallego, P. and Carmo, P. 2006. Live-captures of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus and unassessed bycatch in Cuban waters: evidence of sustainability found wanting. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals 5(1): 39-48.
- Van Waerebeek, K., Van Bressem, M. F., Felix, F., Alfaro-Shigueto, J., Garcia-Godos, A., Chavez-Lisambart, L., Onton, K., Montes, D. and Bello, R. 1997. Mortality of Dolphins and Porpoises in Coastal Fisheries off Peru and Southern Ecuador in 1994. Biological Conservation 81: 43-49.
- Wade, P. R. and Gerrodette, T. 1993. Estimates of cetacean abundance and distribution in the eastern tropical Pacific. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 43: 477-493.
- Wang, J. Y. and Yang, S. C. 2002. Interactions between Taiwan's distant water tuna longline fishery and cetaceans. Toothed Whales/Longline Fisheries Interactions in the South Pacific. Apia, Western Samoa.
- Wang, J. Y., Chou, L. S. and White, B. N. 1999. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of sympatric morphotypes of bottlenose dolphins (genus: Tursiops) in Chinese waters. Molecular Ecology 8: 1603-1612.
- Wang, J. Y., Chou, L. S. and White, B. N. 2000. Differences in external morphology of two sympatric species of bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops) in the waters of China. Journal of Mammalogy 81(4): 1157-1165.
- Wang, J. Y., Chou, L. S. and White, B. N. 2000. Osteological differences between two sympatric forms of bottlenose dolphins (genus Tursiops) in Chinese waters. Journal of Zoology (London) 252: 147-162.
- Waring, G. T., Josephson, E., Fairfield, C. P. and Maze-Foley, K. 2008. U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico marine mammal stock assessments - 2007. NOAA Technical Memorandum. NOAA.
- Wells, R. S. and Scott, M. D. 1999. Bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821). In: S. H. Ridgway and R. Harrison (eds), Handbook of marine mammals, Vol. 6: The second book of dolphins and the porpoises, pp. 137-182. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, USA.
- Wells, R. S. and Scott, M. D. 2002. Bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus and T. aduncus. In: W. F. Perrin, B. Wursig and J. G. M. Thewissen (eds), Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, pp. 122-128. Academic Press.
- Wells, R. S., Tornero, V., Borrell, A., Aguilar, A., Rowles, T. K., Rhinehart, H. L., Hofmann, S., Jarman, W. M., Hohn, A. A. and Sweeney, J. C. 2005. Integrating life-history and reproductive success data to examine potential relationships with organochlorine compounds for bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida. Science of the Total Environment 349: 106-119.
- White, R. and Webb, A. 1995. Coastal birds and marine mammals of mid Dorest. Joint Nature Conservation Committee: 48 pp.. Peterborough, UK.
- Wilson, B., Hammond, P. S. and Thompson, P. M. 1999. Estimating size and assessing trends in a coastal bottlenose dolphin population. Ecological Applications 9(1): 288-300.
- Wilson, Don E., and DeeAnn M. Reeder, eds. 1993. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2nd ed., 3rd printing. xviii + 1207
- Wilson, Don E., and F. Russell Cole. 2000. Common Names of Mammals of the World. xiv + 204
- Wilson, Don E., and Sue Ruff, eds. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. xxv + 750
- van der Land, J. (2001). Tetrapoda, in: Costello, M.J. et al. (Ed.) (2001). European register of marine species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Collection Patrimoines Naturels, 50: pp. 375-376
- Yang, S. C., Liao, H. C., Pan, C. L. and Wang, J. Y. 1999. A survey of cetaceans in the waters of central-eastern Taiwan. Asian Marine Biology 16: 23-34.