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Informations - Physical Characteristics
  1. Size
    1. Pacific bottlenose dolphins may be 10 to 12 ft (3.0-3.7 meters) and weigh between 500 & 1000 lbs (277-455kg).
    2. Atlantic bottlenose dolphins may be 7 to 10 ft (2.1-3.0 meters) and weigh between 250 & 600 lbs.
    3. Males may be slightly larger than females.
  2. Shape
    1. Bottlenose dolphins have sleek, streamlined, fusiform bodies.
    2. Dolphin's bodies are so efficient in water. Submarines, torpedoes, and missiles are designed after them.
  3. Coloration
    1. Nondescript gray to gray green or gray brown on the back, fading to white on the belly. The belly at times may be pinkish.
    2. Dark coloring on the bade and light coloring on its belly provides optimum camouflage, blending with the surface from below and the canter from above.
  4. Head
    1. Bottlenose dolphins have a well-defined beak, marked by a lateral crease, usually about 3 in (7.8 cm).
    2. Teeth are conical and interlocking.
    3. Eyes are on the sides of the head, near the corners of the mouth.
    4. Ears am located about an inch behind the eyes. They are small: inconspicuous pin hole openings with no external flaps or pinnae.
  5. Pectoral flippers
    1. Pectoral flippers the skeletal elements of the forelegs of terrestrial mammals, but they are fore-shortened and modified.
    2. Thick cartilage pads between the bones rigidly support the skeletal elements.
  6. Flukes
    1. Each lobe of the tail is called a fluke.
    2. Flukes are flattened pads of tough, dense, fibrous connective tissue, without bones.
    3. Dolphins propel themselves by moving their flukes up and down.
  7. Dorsal fin
    1. Like the flukes, it is made of dense, fibrous connective tissue with no bones.
    2. Dorsal fins have no function but may assist in steering.
    3. Dorsal fins can be used to identify individuals.


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