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Conservation of Marine Protected Species in Mainland Portugal

Bottlenose Dolphin

Tursiops truncatus

Scientific Name: Tursiops truncatus

Description: It is robust animal reaching 3.8m length. The teeth (between 20 to 25 teeth by hemi-maxilla) are tapered and sharp with 7.5 mm in diameter. Features a predominantly grey coloration. Despite the slightly darker back is not visible an evident color demarcation on any zone. The darker grey extends from the beak to the tip of the dorsal fin, becoming clearer from the flanks to the ventral area. Features a high dorsal fin and sickle cell. Two morphological variants are known associated with distinct habitats: the ocean bottlenose dolphins are larger animals, with a darker and smaller pectoral fins, and the coastal bottlenose dolphins are smaller animals.

Biology: they feed on fish and cephalopods that they can capture more than 100m deep. Sexual maturity varies with sex, being reached between 8 to 14 years on males and between 5 to 12 years on females. The gestation period lasts about 1 year and a cub is born with around of 100cm. Breastfeeding lasts between 12 to 20 months, causing the reproductive cycle that can last between 2 to 3 years. The longevity estimate is of 30 to 40 years.

Distribution: they occupy several types of habitats on hot and temperate waters. Near the shore or in the ocean. In Portugal, there is a resident population at the Sado estuary. The are, also, frequent in the area of Berlengas and Cannon of Nazaré and all over the coast of Portugal.

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30 Nov, 2020 07:08:48 AAAA