Bottlenose dolphins are one of the resident species of the Azores, so we can observe them all year-round. At Terra Azul, we usually observe peaks between june and september.

This species is mostly encountered in coastal and continental shelf waters of tropical and temperate regions of the world. However, they show some preference for oceanic banks and offshore seamounts.

Distribution of 2016 Bottlenose dolphins sightings with bathymetric information

Lenght at birth is about 1-1.3 meters and adults can reach 4 meters lenght. Males tend to be larger than females : 500kg against 260kg for females. The color pattern is the most generalized of all the marine dolphins. It varies to light gray to nearly black on the back and sides, fading to white on the belly.

Pods are usually composed by 10 to 30 individuals and they are very active at the surface, they frequently approach vessels, are playful and often participate in breaching. You probably know Flipper the dolphin, of the televised series, which represents this species.

Bottlenose dolphins feed on a wide range of prey species : fish, squid, crustaceans. The most spectacular technique for catching prey is “fish whacking” : striking a fish with the flukes and knocking it clear of the water.

Do you know that it is possible to identify individuals through the dorsal fin ? If you take some good pictures during your trip, please go on Monicet website ( and upload them in the catalog 🙂


photo-ID catalog – Bottlenose dolphins


About Marine

Marine is Marine Biologist and was Marine Wildlife Guide at TERRA AZUL in 2017. She is now wondering the World and discovering new things! We hope soon she'll get back in touch to share, and to help update this profile.

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