Two bottlenose dolphins breaching (c) Alister Kemp

Common bottlenose dolphin

Common bottlenose dolphins are widespread, except in polar waters. They are extremely sociable and sometimes hunt their prey in teams. Being mammals, dolphins have to return to the surface to breathe every few minutes. They also need to sleep and can rest one side of their brain at a time allowing them to sleep whilst remaining conscious enough to surface and breathe. Common bottlenose dolphins have been known to help one another: injured dolphins are supported at the surface and protected by others within their group.

Did you know?
Bottlenose dolphins sleep with one side of their brain at a time so they can still swim to the surface to breathe.

Scientific name: Tursiops truncatus

Rank: Species

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The Common bottlenose dolphin can be found in a number of locations including: Mediterranean, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Common bottlenose dolphin distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Common bottlenose dolphin

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