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Bottlenose Dolphins
Bottlenose Dolphin
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Bottlenose dolphins are small, toothed whales that have a long, beaklike snout, a sickle-shaped dorsal fin, and sharp teeth. Dolphins breathe air through a single blowhole. They grow to be at most 12 feet (3.3 m) long. Dolphins live in small groups of up to 12 whales; these groups are called pods. Dolphins make high-pitched whistles, clicks, moans, squeaks, and other sounds. Bottlenose dolphins have a life span of about 25 years.

Swimming: Like other whales, dolphins swim by moving their tail (called flukes) up and down. Fish swim by moving their tail left and right.

Distribution: The bottlenose dolphin is found worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. Some live offshore and others live near the coast.

Echolocation: Like other toothed whales, dolphins use echolocation, a way of sensing in which they emit high-pitched clicks and sense them as they bounce back off objects (including prey).

Diet: Bottlenose dolphins are hunters who find their prey at the surface of the water, eating mostly fish and squid.

Predators of Dolphins: Some sharks (including tiger sharks, dusky sharks, and bull sharks) and orcas will prey upon dolphins. Dolphins are also often trapped in people's fishing nets.

1. Are dolphins a type of whale or fish? ____________________________

2. What is a group of dolphins called? ____________________________

3. Dolphins swim by moving their tail _____________ and ______________.

4. Does echolocation involve high or low pitched sounds? ____________________________

5. Dolphins breathe through a ____________________________.

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