Everyone loves dolphins! Their gentle intelligence, dedication to family, and sense of fun intrigues us. And, they always seem to be smiling! This little fellow has just popped up to say hello! Perfect for a small shelf, or even as a paperweight on your desk where he can share your day!
Common Bottlenose Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals, and are part of the toothed whale (cetaceans) family, which includes orca (killer whales) and pilot whales. Scientists believe that the early whales evolved about 50 million years ago, and originated from early (now extinct) primitive land mammals that went back to live in the sea. The Dolphin group has at least 36 known species. (There is one other bottlenose dolphin, the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin.) The common bottlenose dolphin is the most well known of all dolphin species, thanks to TV, movies, marine parks, and research facilities, and they are the most commonly seen dolphin along the shores of the United States. They are the largest species of beaked dolphins. (“Beaked” means having a longer “nose”.) Common bottlenose dolphins are found throughout the world in temperate and tropical waters, where water temperatures are 50` to 90`. They cannot survive in frigid polar oceans. They are most commonly found along the continental shelves. Common bottlenose dolphins are divided into two groups – coastal, and deep water, and there are anatomical differences between the two groups. Some groups or “pods” live close to shorelines (and tend to be smaller and lighter in color), and some live far out at sea (and tend to be darker and larger).