Tursiops truncatus Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
If you see a dolphin near shore or in a river it is most likely to be a bottlenose dolphin. This species is frequently found just beyond the surf line, but rarely in deeper waters. Their diet consists of fish, crabs, shrimp and squid.
These dolphins are dark gray, with wide heads, a thick body and a medium-length beak. The maximum length of bottlenose dolphins varies from 7.8 – 12.5 ft long (2.4 – 3.8 m), males are slightly larger than females.
Bottlenose dolphins are extremely gregarious, and are sometimes seen in groups of up to several hundred. These are the dolphins that you may see riding the bow waves of boats, or ‘playing’ in the surf alongside your sea kayak. Resist the temptation to feed them – it is illegal and may cause them to approach boats looking for handouts.
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