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What are some facts about bottlenose dolphins?

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Quick Answer

Bottlenose dolphins are well-known stars of aquarium shows. Although they're typically shallow divers, they can dive down to 850 feet or so below the ocean's surface and they can also stay underwater for up to 15 minutes. They are social beings who cooperate when nursing their calves and hunting for food.

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Full Answer

The bottlenose dolphin can grow to be as large as 2.8 meters in length. They're fast swimmers and can generally swim at speeds of 5 to 12 kilometers per hour, with a top speed of about 32 kilometers per hour. They surface about two to three times each minute in order to breathe, but can stay underwater much longer if they need to. Bottlenose dolphins eat fish, shrimp and squid, and they sometimes follow fishing boats in hopes of retrieving leftovers. They used to be hunted for meat and oil, but dolphin fishing is much more limited now than it used to be. Bottlenose dolphins can get trapped in fishing nets when commercial fisherman are trawling for tuna and other species. These sea mammals are excellent communicators and use a complex method of whistles and squeaks in order to talk to one another. Bottlenose dolphins are typically found in warm waters and tropical oceans around the world.

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