Bottlenose Dolphins

The most familiar of all dolphin species — bottlenose dolphins — live all over the world and travel in ever-changing social groups. These charismatic and intelligent marine mammals feature extraordinary adaptations and behaviors, allowing them to thrive in an often harsh ocean habitat.

If belugas are known for their songs at sea, a dolphin’s call is its whistle, which actually acts as its personal calling card. In fact, their signature whistle is so distinct that scientists can identify individual dolphins by looking at their whistle shapes on a sonogram. At SeaWorld, we can tell them apart in a much less scientific way — by their personalities!

Connect with our dolphins at Dolphin Cove or the Dolphin Nursery. With the help of a trainer you can feed and touch bottlenose dolphins. Want to get even closer? Sign up for the unforgettable Dolphins Up-Close Tour.

Q: Where do they live?
SW: Bottlenose dolphins are found in temperate and tropical oceans worldwide, either close to shore in bays, harbors and lagoons or farther out at sea in cooler, deeper waters.

Q: Are they endangered?
SW: Bottlenose dolphins are not endangered, but they face many challenges in their environment. If you visit the ocean and see dolphins, view them from a safe distance. This will keep them safe and healthy in their home.

Q: What do they eat?
SW: They have a pretty hearty diet that includes a wide variety of fishes, squids and crustaceans like shrimps.

Q: How big do they get?
SW: In general, bottlenose dolphins can be 6.6 to 12.8 ft. (2 - 3.9 m) and weigh from about 330 to 440 lb. (150 - 200 kg).

Q: Are dolphins born at SeaWorld?
SW: SeaWorld is a global leader in bottlenose dolphin reproduction. Most of SeaWorld’s dolphins were born at one of the parks, and many of these have become mothers themselves. These successful births have contributed significant information to studies of dolphin reproduction, growth, and development.