Q: Where do bottlenose dolphins live?
SW: Bottlenose dolphins are warm water lovers, and can be found in tropical oceans worldwide. They can live either close to shore in bays, harbors and lagoons or farther out at sea in cooler, deeper waters. Typically they prefer water warmer than 50°F.
Q: Are dolphins really as smart as we think?
SW: That’s a great question, and not an easy one to answer – or at least to prove. The bottlenose dolphin brain is larger than most animals their size. Still, some scientists argue that the extra brain capacity is to allow for their complex communication, which would mean a larger auditory part of the brain than most other marine mammals.
Q: Are bottlenose dolphins endangered?
SW: While some members of the dolphins family are endangered, like those found sometimes in rivers, bottlenose dolphins are not listed as endangered. Still, because they are not shy around humans, they sometimes find themselves caught in fishing lines or struck by boats.
Q: What do dolphins eat?
SW: If you like seafood, you and a bottlenose dolphin may share a few favorites. They have a pretty hearty diet that includes a wide variety of fishes, squids and shrimps. And here’s a fun fact: dolphins only use their teeth to catch fish, but not to chew. That’s right, they swallow their food whole.
Q: Why do dolphins follow the wake of boats?
SW: Bottlenose dolphins can often be seen racing to ride on the bow waves or the stern wakes of boats, a thrilling thing for those on board to watch. While it looks like they’re just doing it to have fun – which is probably true – scientists also believe this activity probably first developed early in life, when they road alongside their mother in her slip-stream (or hydrodynamic wave). Dolphins also ride ocean swells and even the wakes of large whales.
Q: Are there any baby dolphins at SeaWorld?
SW: Yes, in fact SeaWorld is a global leader in bottlenose dolphin reproduction. Most of SeaWorld’s dolphins were born at one of our parks, and many of these have become mothers themselves. These successful births have contributed significant information to studies of bottlenose dolphin reproduction, growth, and development.