The Indian Ocean or Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is part of the bottlenose family and can be found traveling throughout the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.
The Indo-Pacific dolphin is known for its social behavior and occasionally large pod gatherings which can number in the hundreds.
Although these marine mammals belong to the bottlenose family there are several differences between them and other bottlenose dolphins that are worth pointing out, which we’ll explain below.
When compared to the common bottlenose dolphin the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin has a longer slimmer beak and more streamlined body.
They also have a large stocky triangular dorsal fin which is located near the middle of its back.
Their skin tone is a grayish blue to brownish coloring (lighter than the common bottlenose dolphin) with a lighter colored belly, and on very rare occasions the belly may have black spots on it.
At full maturity these dolphins can reach lengths of 8 ½ ft. and weigh over 500 lbs.
Some dolphins may also consume various crustaceans; however crustaceans are typically ingested indirectly when hunting for fish and squid.
As stated earlier the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is part of the toothed whale family so echolocation likely plays a role in their ability to locate food and travel the ocean in areas that are absent of light.
As the name suggest these dolphins can be found in the tropical regions of the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, primarily around the continental shelf.
These dolphins have been found in various locations such as Africa, Australia, South China, the Red Sea and India.
The Indo-Pacific dolphin is a social dolphin species that can often be found traveling in groups of 5 – 15 dolphins; however during certain social events pod sizes may number in the hundreds.
They may also be seen intermingling with various dolphin and whale species.
As with other dolphin species these dolphins communicate using a series of high-pitched clicks and whistles, which vary from one dolphin to the next.
The average gestation period for the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is about 12 months.
After birth the baby dolphin is watched after and nursed by its mothers for up to 2 years, feeding off of the milk she produces from her mammary glands.
Children dolphins may continue to stay with their mother until the age of 5.
Unlike other species of dolphin the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is believed to have a longer break between offspring cycles with females producing a single offspring once every 3 – 6 years.
The average estimated lifespan for these dolphins is 35 – 50 years.
The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin is known to face threats from sharks and occasionally killer whales.
They may also end up caught in fishing nets where they try to capture a group of fish, but end up getting stuck in the net and drown.