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Bottlenose Dolphin Presentation

General and local description of Bottlenose Dolphin - Estuario do Sado (SETÚBAL|PORTUGAL)

Márcia Wergikosky

on 29 July 2013

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Transcript of Bottlenose Dolphin Presentation

Bottlenose Dolphin


Animals with epidermal hairs, sweat glands, odor glands, sebaceous and mammary (milk production for breastfeeding babies), differentiated teeth, brain and nervous system and very developed internal fertilization.


Marine animals that breathe through lungs, body adapted to the aquatic environment (hydrodynamic) without hind limbs and forelimbs adapted to swimming turned into fins. Have an excellent sense of hearing and various insulating layers of fat to keep warm.


The family with the largest number of species. Includes all oceanic dolphins and some coastal species and partly river and some toothed whales.


Gender dolphin cosmopolitan


Tursiops truncatus
General characteristics of the specie

It’s a method which is based on identifying individual through photography of subjects from natural marks without the need for physical handling of the animals.

How dolphins watching is relatively complicated, since these animals are observed only on the surface breathing or when they emerge in some situations of power and socialization, it’s used the
dorsal fins
, easily observed, for photo-identification.

trailing edge of the dorsal fins of dolphins
is thinner than the edge and therefore more easily fragmented. The cuts and incisions from the posterior edge, along with the shape and inclination of the dorsal fin identifying different individuals.
Individual identification of dolphins
It's a very
species that occurs in small groups (1-10 individuals) in coastal populations or in larger groups (1-25 individuals) in oceanic populations that inhabit the open ocean.

In oceanic areas can be observed exceptionally groups of up to 500 individuals. Sometimes isolated individuals are observed, corresponding generally to solitary males.

The bottlenose dolphin can easily join the sharks, sea turtles or even other cetaceans, and can "ride" and jump in the waves caused by the displacement of large whales.

Is a
fast swimmer
vigorous showing
, generally, it’s forehead and when emerges shows the nozzle. Performs
dives to 4 minutes
along the coast, and may be longer off.

He is very active on surface flows by making
and various
acrobatic moves
, which make it a highly sought after species for Delfinarios and Aquariums.
Males reach sexual maturity between 8-14 years and females between 5-12 years.

They have a long gestation period - 12 months - after which only creates a single, approximately 1 meter long, weighing 30 kg.

The cubs are breastfed for about 18 months but are still dependent on the mother for a considerable period of time (2-6 years). This long period of dependence implies intervals between pregnancies 2-3 years.
The power of the bottlenose dolphin is a large
variety of fish
(mullet, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, eels, etc.),
(squid and cuttlefish) and some

Despite being
generalist and opportunistic
, with the ability to
their diet to prey availability, may, depending on the geographical area, present a set of preferred prey.

The feeding strategy depends on the bottlenose dolphin habitat and prey availability, but also the dynamics of the group. In some areas the animals form groups that pursue fish up the beach.

This species can be found in all
temperate seas
of the planet, just avoiding the higher latitudes. It occurs in enclosed seas such as the Black, Red and Mediterranean.

Some dolphins seem to go on
oceanic seasonal migrations
, while other coastal populations may exhibit a pattern
. It is easily found in many types of
coastal habitats
, from exposed coasts, the lagoons, estuaries, bays, mangroves, reefs and even the lower sections of rivers. The oceanic populations are typically seen around
oceanic islands


In Portugal the species can be observed along the entire coast of the continent and the islands (Madeira and Azores), and to highlight the existence of a resident population since at least the 80s in the
Sado estuary
. Recently, we identified a resident population in the Azores.
Worldwide Distribution | Portugal
The bottlenose dolphins of Sado feed, rest and socialize within the
Sado estuary
and adjacent marine area.

The Sado estuary can be divided into three distinct zones depending on their depth and water circulation system:

North Channel
- located near the city of
and respective port and industrial zone, with a maximum depth of 15 meters and weak currents;

Intermediate zone of shoals
- composed sand banks, which are exposed only at low tide.

South Channel
- located along the Troia peninsula, with a maximum depth of 35 meters, very hydrodynamic, with more intense currents.
Occurrence Area
The bottlenoses dolphin feed preferentially along the
South channel
. This area is less intervened that the North channel has and only
natural characteristics
that attract bottlenoses dolphin:

Large hydro-dynamic
promotes the oxygenation of water and dilution of pollutants, attracting many species -
of bottlenose dolphins.

Moreover, also the actual topography of the channel provides a
wide variety of habitats
, allowing bottlenoses dolphin find a wide variety of food.

In the nearby seashore, is foreshores of
, located at the mouth of the estuary, the dolphins prefer to feed themselves.
Feed - in SADO
During the coldest months of
, the dolphins are observed mainly in the shallows of
, the input channel of the estuary and along the coast of Arrábida.

With the arrival of
, it begins to make inroads progressively larger
inside the estuary
, and can even be observed upstream of Lisnave. In this time of the year many species of fish enter the estuary to breed and bottlenose dolphins are attracted by the wide availability of prey for the innermost areas of the estuary.

are often observed both in the
(especially in the south channel) or the
nearby seashore
, where socialization demonstrate behaviors (jumps and head-butting), relating to the period of mating and reproduction.
Areas most frequented
The dolphins have a complex behavioral repertoire, which includes the surface behavioral elements such as
physical contact
head movements
movements of the tail fin
types of swimming
, among others.

, is a pattern of activity in which individuals emerge in one single compact group or several units arranged along an axis of displacement. The animals emerge next to each other, the submersion are generally short and may register dips followed by prolonged series of short dips.

The activity pattern
search of prey
, also known feeding behavior is characterized by irregularity of the dives (duration, frequency and directionality) as well as the erratic movement on the surface indicate that the pursuit of prey.

includes a wide variety of behavioral events of interaction between individuals, such as
jumps and synchronized physical contact
. In this type of activity pattern animal groups are small, usually dispersed in a large area.
Behavioral Aspects - in SADO
The End
Ana Rita Leal
Fábio Machuqueiro
João Babarra
Luís Fernandes
Márcia Wergikosky
Margarida Leitão
Full transcript