We use cookies to make your experience better and to help us monitor and improve our website. If your are happy for us to do this, please click the "accept cookies" button. You can find more about the cookies we use, and change your preferences at anytime, on our Privacy Policy page.

Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

See Bottlenose Dolphins and much more in Cornwall with Orca Sea Safaris.


Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in Cornwall

We are lucky in Cornwall to have a marine environment which is rich with a wide variety of mammals.


We have a resident pod of this species in Cornwall. There are about 10 of them and they inhabit the sheltered inshore waters along the coastline. The sweeping sheltered bays such as Falmouth bay and Veryan bay, where we travel to on our Sea Safaris, provide perfect feeding habitat for the Bottlenose Dolphins. They are perhaps the most well known cetacean species, as they are often used in marine parks and in research facilities.

How to identify this species:

  • 2.5- 3.5 metres in length
  • Mostly dark grey above and lighter grey or white belly
  • Inhabits shallow waters

A pod of bottlenose will sometimes coordinate their feeding and work together to capture fish, but also hunt individually. They also sometimes fish around human fishing activity to capture any escapees from the net. Like all dolphin species, bottlenose use echolocation to search for prey. It is a bit like sonar, where they send out a series of clicks and interpret the echo that comes back to them. They can determine how far away prey is located and how big it might be, for example how large the school of fish is.

Threats and Conservation:
This species is not currently considered endangered, due to its abundance and adaptability. However they frequently come into contact with human fishing activities as one of their favourite foods is tuna. This does lead to a high incidence of by-catch as the majority of tuna fisheries use purse seiners, which encircle the tuna and anything else that is in the vicinity. This has lead to the 'dolphin safe' label on tuna products that do not endanger dolphins.

The photos on this page are of 'Georges'. He is a solitary dolphin who comes to visit Falmouth harbour every now and then. He is not attached to a pod of other dolphins and as they are such sociable creatures, he enjoys the company of people and boats so he doesn't get too lonely! You can see how close he comes to our boat by the quality of our photos!