Call us: +385 51 232 016

About the bottlenose dolphins


In the sea around the islands of Cres and Lošinj, the size of the community of the Bottlenose dolphins has been estimated at 120 individuals. The majority has been identified so far thanks to natural marks such as cuts and scars on their back fin, the part which is always to be seen when they come out to the surface to breathe the air.

In 1987, the team of the Tethys Research Institute started a long research of biology, ecology and social structure of the community of Bottlenose dolphins that colonize the sea around Cres and Lošinj. Today, these dolphins are one of the best-explored groups in the whole Mediterranean.

There are many threats to the Lošinj-Cres population of Bottlenose dolphins. The boats physically obstruct their free movements while the engine noise disrupts their communication and navigational senses. Although among the most resistant and adaptable Cetaceans, the Bottlenose dolphins are progressively dying out in many parts of the world.  


Many of us are still not aware that dolphins are mammals like human beings. Although the shape of their body may remind us of fish and they are not covered in fur, they have kept all the other characteristics of land mammals – they are warm-blooded, breathe with their lungs and the female gives birth to the young and feeds it with milk. Dolphins belong to the group of whales (Cetaceans) and the subgroup of toothed whales (Mysticeti), those that feed with plankton and small blue fish and can also sometimes be seen in the Adriatic. However, this time we will deal with those whales that permanently live in the Adriatic. The sole species for which we are sure that still lives and breeds in the Adriatic is the Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Some time ago, the common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) also lived in the Adriatic. However, because of the dolphin extermination program during the 1950s, we are no longer sure whether they still live here, since over the past decades we have seen only rare, particular individual animals.

How do dolphins drink water?
Dolphins may live in „water“, however they do not drink it. They entirely satisfy their need for water by using the water they get by eating their prey. Also, considering that their skin is water-resistant, they do not need large amounts of water like humans do. 

Can dolphins see well?
You are aware that if you dive under water and open your eyes, you will not see clearly as you can normally see out of water. That is because the lens in our eyes is fixed. However, dolphins have a flexible lens and it is considered that their eyesight is equally good under water as well as above water. However, while they are under water, the dolphins also use echolocation in order to complete the information on their environment.

How deep can the bottlenose dolphins dive?
The amount of time spent under water depends on what they are doing. Of course, the longest period spent under water is while they hunt. Then they spend about 3-4 minutes under water. However, in case of danger, Bottlenose dolphins can remain under water 6-7 minutes.

How deep can Bottlenose dolphins dive?
Bottlenose dolphins are good divers although they are not record breakers. Depending on the area they live in, they averagely dive to the depth between 30 and 70 meters, but they can dive up to 300 meters.

What is the life span of Bottlenose dolphins?
Although it is difficult to determine with certainty the real life span of particular animals, it is known that the Bottlenose dolphins may live over 50 years. As well as with many other mammals, the females averagely live a bit longer. However, the average estimated life span in nature is somewhat over 30 years. 

Why do dolphins always laugh?
People often believe that the dolphins are always in a good mood and happy. One of the reasons is their high jumping but the main reason is the expression of their face which looks like they are laughing all the time. However, the truth is completely different – Bottlenose dolphins cannot change the way their mouth looks! They look equally the same when they are happy or mad!

How do dolphins feed with milk?
As young dolphins cannot suck milk, the mother ejects milk by contracting its mammary glands that squirt the milk into the calf’s mouth. To avoid mixing with the surrounding sea, because the milk travels to young dolphin’s mouth through seawater, the milk must be extremely thick and fatty. This type of milk contains about 14% of lactose fat which is 4 times higher than the lactose fat in either cow’s milk or human milk.


The purpose of the „Adopt a dolphin“ campaign is to raise public awareness where people are invited to participate in the protection of dolphins and make a donation to the project. In return, the adopters, our donors, will get the Adoption pack and Aquamarine – the annual magazine. If you wish to adopt a dolphin, you can do this during your stay in Veli Lošinj or on-line at

When you adopt a dolphin, you will receive the Adoption pack that includes:
• Personalized Adoption Certificate
• Attractive bookmarks
• A yearly issue of «Aquamarine»
• A leaflet on the Adriatic Dolphin Project
• Photo of the adopted dolphin with informative text


Dolphin Day as a public event has been held since 1993 in Veli Lošinj, on the first Saturday in August. Dolphin Day includes children’s art exhibition in the center of Veli Lošinj, games for kids, photo exhibition, movie projections and open air concert. Brochures, posters and puzzles are also published. Each year the on the occasion of the Dolphin Day event, a new DOLPHIN design is made on T-shirts with educational slogans. Many locals as well as a large number of tourists participate in the event every year.  



March-May from 9 till 15 /closed Sundays/
June - September from 9 till 19 every day


Puntarka nova d.o.o.
Nikole Tesle 17
HR - 51550 Mali Lošinj

Tax code:


ID code:



+385 51 232 016