Bottlenose Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin
Oceans
ABout Bottlenose Dolphin

Dolphins live in large groups, called pods, and the members all communicate using sound.

A dolphin produces all of its sounds from its blowhole, not its mouth. Because they are air breathers living in the water, sleeping can pose a challenge. We are not sure how they sleep but we know they take small cat naps because they are conscious breathers.

Dolphins have long, sleek, blue-gray bodies with a dorsal fin atop their back, pectoral fins at their sides and two flukes at the end of the peduncle that makes up their paddle-shaped tail. They also have a beak, called a rostrum, protruding from the face with a blowhole at the top of the head.

 

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FACTS & STATISTICS
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Average Size
7 to 9 feet,
350-600 pounds
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Native Region
Tropical oceans and warm waters across the world
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Eating Habit
Fish and squid
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Conservation Status
Least Concern
Distinguishing Characteristics

Calypso has a dark area under along her chin, giving her the appearance that she has a beard. She has a small birthmark on her lower left side.

Fun Facts

Calypso is Maui’s big sister, daughter of Kimo, and the granddaughter of Nova. She is very spunky, a fast learner and often found with her tongue sticking out of her mouth when she swims.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Hemingway has a slender rostrum and pointed tail flukes.

Fun Facts

Hemingway came to us in 2018 from Marineland Aquarium in Florida. Hemingway spends the majority of his time with Jett and Orin. Described as “brilliant,” Hemingway sometimes uses his intelligence to stir up drama amongst the pod. He enjoys keeping busy with enrichment items like hoops and Kong toys. He was named after the famous author Ernest Hemingway.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Indy has a curved "C-shaped" dorsal fin, small grey spots on her belly and a pronounced underbite.

Fun Facts

Indy is very athletic and vocal. A little mischievous, Indy is known to splash water at marine mammal staff or guests to get their attention. Indy is the half-sister to Jett and Orin.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Jett has a scar behind his blowhole, a white scar at the base of the leading edge of his dorsal fin and a notch in his flukes.

Fun Facts

Jett is an athletic dolphin and loves to play with all of his enrichment. He is eager to learn new behaviors from marine mammal staff and fellow dolphins and feeds off of the energy of his trainers. Jett has strong bonds with Kimo and Hemingway and will act as a mentor to the younger male dolphins of the pod.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Kimo is our largest dolphin weighing around 500 pounds. He has a wide rostrum that is white in coloration at the tip.

Fun Facts

Kimo is the oldest male dolphin in our pod. Although he is more laid back in his relationships with other dolphins, he is motivated to do energetic behaviors when working with marine mammal staff. He is the father of Calypso and Maui.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Maui is one of the smallest members of the pod and has a dark line going from his neck to his belly.

Fun Facts

Maui is very energetic and loves seeking attention from anyone who will give it. He loves ice and enrichment. He is the younger brother to Calypso and acts as a big brother to Trooper.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Nova is dark in color and our largest female dolphin. She also has a grey speckled belly and petite features.

Fun Facts

Nova is the matriarch of the pod and is our most dominant female dolphin. She is laid-back and patient with both dolphins and humans. She loves back and belly rubs during one-on-one time with her trainers. She is the grandmother of Maui and Calypso.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Orin has two dark streaks on his chest and a prominent underbite.

Fun Facts

Orin is always one of the first to welcome new dolphins into the pod. He is always curious and good at problem solving and loves to eat ice. He enjoys spending time with Heminway and Taz. Orin is the son of Jett and was named after the Atlantean alter ego of DC Comics hero Aquaman.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Taz is a long and lean dolphin and has a wide rostrum. He is known for whistling as he swims.

Fun Facts

Taz is independent and laid back. He was rescued off the coast of Florida in 2011 when he was an infant. Taz would rather choose to spend time with his podmates and trainers over enrichment.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Trooper was found stranded off of the coast of Louisiana in May of 2020 at 4 weeks of age. He is one the smallest dolphin and has dark marks on the right side of his back from burns he suffered from the sun while on the beach. He is often seen sleeping with his tongue sticking out.

Fun Facts

Since arriving to the Indianapolis Zoo, Trooper has formed bonds with Indy and Maui. He is often seen acting to Maui as a little brother would, following him around and copying what he does.

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Visit the dolphins at the zoo!

Look no further. Connect with our amazing animals and learn about the wild places they come from.

Where are they at the Zoo?
Find the dolphins in the Ascension St. Vincent Dolphin Pavilion.
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Additional Experiences
Dolphin Presentation
View Current Times

Enjoy engaging demonstrations by our incredible dolphins during our free daily presentations!

You’ll be enthralled by these powerful and intelligent marine mammals while you learn more about health of the waters where dolphins live in the wild. Plus, you can find out what we can do here in Indiana to make their world a healthier place. The presentation features local families and the steps they take each day to avoid single-use plastics to help ensure healthy oceans free of plastic that put dolphins and other sea animals at risk.

Presentations are included with regular Zoo admission, but seating is limited and tickets are required. Pick up your tickets when you enter the Zoo. Pavilion doors open 30 minutes prior to each presentations and close 5 minutes before the presentation. Seating is first-come, first-served. Strollers must be parked in the designated area outside the Ascension St. Vincent Dolphin Pavilion. Guests with concerns about the security of strollers can consider renting a stroller.

The Power of Prevention

Preventative health care is essential for humans and animals alike! Here at the Zoo, our veterinarians work year round to help keep our animals healthy. Help keep your family healthy with the support of care teams at Ascension St. Vincent.

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ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES
Animal Art Adventure

Not only are dolphins amongst the world’s most intelligent animals, they are fantastic painters as well! A Dolphin Art Adventure takes participants behind the scenes where you will meet a dolphin up close and learn about some of the things that make this dolphin unique in our pod. The fantastic artwork the dolphin creates will be yours to take home!

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ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES
Conservation Efforts for Bottlenose Dolphins

What Can You Do?

Everyone has the power to help save wild things and wild places. That power is your individual voice, your awareness and your actions. So in addition to visiting the Zoo and meeting our animal ambassadors, here are a few simple suggestions that will help save their counterparts in the wild.

  • Plant a tree together! It s roots help keep water and soil in place.
  • Start a compost pile. Feeding your lawn or garden with compost instead of fertilizer means fewer chemicals are introduced into the environment.
  • Plant a rain garden together using native plants. Putting plants in a wet area of your yard keeps soil from eroding, and native plants don’t need fertilizer to grow big and strong.
Animal Amigo
Sponsor a Dolphin

The Animal Amigo program helps care for all of the animals at the Zoo by funding food, medical treatment, equipment, enrichment toys, and habitat improvement for the animals in our care. For a donation of $100 or more, you can sponsor a dolphin at the Indianapolis Zoo. You will receive a plush, collector card, certificate and recognition on the Animal Amigo donor board!

Learn More
Visit the dolphins at the zoo!

Look no further. Connect with our amazing animals and learn about the wild places they come from.

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