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pacific bottlenose dolphin

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) is a species of Bottlenose Dolphin. The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin grows to long, and weigh up to . 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 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. The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin also has more teeth than the Common Bottlenose Dolphin — 23 to 29 teeth on each side of each jaw for the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, compared to 21 to 24 for the Common Bottlenose Dolphin. There is evidence that 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.

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins live in groups that can number in the hundreds, but groups of 5 to 15 dolphins are most common. In some parts of their range they associate with the Common Bottlenose Dolphin. It also associates with other dolphin species, such as the humpback dolphin.

The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin has a peak mating and calving season in spring and summer, although mating and calving occur throughout the year in some regions. Gestation period is about 12 months. Calves are between long, and weigh between . The calves are weaned between 1.5 and 2 years, but can remain with their mother for up to 5 years. The interbirth interval for females is typically 4 to 6 years.

In some parts of its range, the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin is subject to predation by sharks. The Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin can live more than 40 years.

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