Registered: January 2007
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins can be found both inshore and offshore waters and even in larger rivers. Inshore they form family groups consisting of two to seven individuals. Offshore they may form groups of 100 or more. The Bottlenose dolphin is usually 8 to 12 feet long and weighs between 400 and 500 pounds. They need to breathe (through a blowhole on the top of their head) about every two minutes, but they can hold their breath for up to 12 minutes when they are diving for food. Dolphins are excellent swimmers and can reach speeds of up to 22 mph, although they generally cruise at about two mph. They eat fish, squid and marine invertebrates and will consume more than 20 pounds a day. In Florida, females give birth between May and August and will nurse the calf for eight to 24 months. The two may stay together for three to four years.