We see the Bottlenose Dolphin year round, but more so in the spring and summer months.
Dolphins are very definitely a welcome sight on any cruise but here are a few details about Bottlenose Dolphin you may not be aware of.
They are, by far, the most famous species of dolphin, they are usually the ones starring in books, films (thankyou Flipper) and theme parks. They are very social and highly intelligent, making them easy to train and work with. Fishermen have trained them to help them fish and the US navy has been using them for quite a while to help locate underwater mines for removal from conflict zones. (Side Note: It is unknown whether there have been any dolphin fatalities during the location of mines but the US Navy states that they locate the mines using echolocation and do not actually get close enough to the mines to detonate them).
They can live for up to 40 years, females start to breed at around 10-12 years of age, producing young every 3 – 4 years. Gestation is 12 months, with the mother proving milk for the calves for between 2 – 4 years.
Bottlenose Dolphins are medium to dark gray, with lighter shades on their flanks ad a white or sometimes pinkish underbelly. A particularly endearing quality of this species is that they always appear to smiling, they have a short thick beak and an enchantingly upturned mouth; with 18-28 conical teeth on each side of the jaw. The forehead is round, like a melon, and is where the fat is stored to allow for echolocation. They can make up to 1000 clicking sounds per minute, which travel underwater until they encounter an object and bounce back to the dolphin, which reveals the location, size and shape of said object.
Their skin feels like rubber to touch, it is incredibly smooth and while it does flake and shed, this process happens very quickly so effectively, the dolphin may have a new layer of skin every few hours.