When you’re on one of our amazing dolphin watching cruises in Madeira Beach, there are few things more exciting than witnessing bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat. After all, they are among the cutest and most interesting creatures in the deep blue sea! Want to know a little more about them? Check out these 10 fun facts…
1. Bottlenose dolphins are very social and travel in groups of 10 to 15 called pods. They play, they hunt, they even help raise each other’s dolphin calves. It takes a village!
2. One of the fastest sea creatures, bottlenose dolphins glide through the water using their curved dorsal fin, powerful tail, and pointed flippers to reach speeds up to 20 miles an hour and depths as low as 800 feet below the surface.
3. Bottlenose dolphins are marine mammals and love warm climates. Because of this, they can be found in tropical, temperate oceans around the world.
4. They love to put on a show and can be seen flipping (a.k.a breaching) out of the water in an acrobatic display. They can even “jump” up to 16 feet out of the water! There are several reasons why dolphins do this – to get a view above the water, clean parasites off their bodies, communicate with other dolphins, or just for fun! On Dolphin Quest in John’s Pass, we guarantee dolphin sightings on our day tour, or your next trip is free!
5. Love how dolphins “smile”? You can thank their short thick beak and curved mouth for helping make this expression. They are typically grey in color and measure between seven to 12 feet in length.
6. They love to “chat” with other dolphin and send information to each other by squeaking, whistling, or using body language like leaping out of the water, snapping their jaws, and even butting heads.
7. Bottlenose dolphin also use a sophisticated form of natural communication called echolation, a series of high-pitched clicks that help with navigation, hunting, and avoiding predators. When the clicking sounds hit an object in the water, such as a rock or fish, they bounce back to the dolphin as echoes. This allows the dolphin to determine the location, size, and shape of an object.
8. Even though they live underwater, bottlenose dolphin must come up to the surface in order to breathe air. They do this through a blowhole, a hole at the top of their head that opens when inhaling and exhaling air when outside the water. What’s cool is that they can keep the blowhole closed when they are below the ocean surface AND can hold their breath nearly seven minutes when underwater!
9. Bottlenose dolphins mostly eat fish, but they won’t pass up crustaceans like shrimp and squid either!
10. As of now, bottlenose dolphins are not considered endangered, but illegal hunting, fishing nets, and pollution are threatening the bottlenose dolphin population. All of us can do our part to help these incredible creatures by keeping our oceans clean and reducing waste.
Is seeing a bottlenose dolphin on your vacation bucket list? Call us today at (727) 392-7090 for more information on our dolphin watching cruises that set sail from John’s Pass in Madeira Beach. Dolphin Quest is an experience you’ll never forget!