How long do dolphins live?

May 02, 2012 19 comments By


Female dolphins in Sarasota Bay tend to live longer than males, and they may give birth when they are as old as 48 years of age.

The oldest female dolphin in the Sarasota community is a female nicknamed Nicklo, who was 64 years old in June, 2014.

Males may live into their 40s. Of our most long-lived males, one nicknamed Jimmy Durante was 50 years old when last seen in 2009, and F154 was 51 years old when observed in June, 2014.

The oldest and one of the young dolphins in 2013.  Nicklo (left) was observed in June 2014 at age 64.

The oldest and one of the young dolphins in 2013. Nicklo (left) was observed in June 2014 at age 64.


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Fun Facts

About the author

Blair Irvine, PhD, is retired and manages the SDRP website, serves as President of the non-profit Dolphin Biology Research Institute, and he volunteers as otherwise needed. He started the SDRP in 1970 with then-high school student Randy Wells. Blair led the research into the late-1970’s when Randy took over. After that, Blair's non-dolphin career was in the area of human behavioral health. With NIH support, much of his research was involved Internet interventions and training programs. His graduate degrees are in Zoology, Exercise Physiology, and Health Education.

19 Responses to “How long do dolphins live?”

  1. Hi I'm....... says:

    I never knew that Dolphins can live for so long!!

  2. Blair Irvine, PhD says:

    Actually, we don’t know how long dolphins CAN live. How can anyone answer that question? We only know what we can document. Thus, in June 2014, we saw NickLo again, and we knew she had survived for 64 years since her birth.

  3. leclec says:

    thanks for the info about how long dolphins can live this is a project for 6th grade thanks so entierly much and have a gracefull day and live longer dolphins

  4. BUMBLE BEE says:

    Its great that you know how long the dolphins live, but it would be helpful if you would explain HOW LONG THEY LIVE.

  5. Blair Irvine, PhD says:

    What you are asking for is the potential life expectancy of dolphins. The answer probably varies by species and perhaps by habitats of wide-ranging species. Sorry to say, though, there are many species, and too few researchers. So, nobody has the answer to your question.

  6. Blair Irvine, PhD says:

    Nobody can answer that question. There are many species of dolphins and little research to document ages of individuals.

    We have documented a wild male bottlenose dolphin (F154) to be 51 years old in January 2014.

  7. Aria says:

    What is the oldest male dolphins in the world

  8. Vanessa says:

    Amazing things of dolphins

  9. Emily Antoney says:

    Thank you for the information. But what I Wanted to know is HOW LONG DO DOLPHINS LIVE not how long the oldest dolphin lived

  10. Blair Irvine says:

    We only know what we can see. As with humans, the oldest dolphin is an indicator of maximum observed age .

  11. sara says:

    What I want to know is how long can they live I don’t want info about who the oldest living dolphin is.

  12. asia says:

    ii love dolphins and im researching them i wana know how long do they live/what is there life span

  13. Blair Irvine says:

    There are 41 species of dolphins. An excellent resource is the Society for Marine Mammalogy fact sheets.

  14. asia says:

    also does anyone know how many kind if dolphins there are

  15. alice cecil says:

    I love that female dolphins live longer then male but i need too know how many years dolphins live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Blair Irvine says:

    We don’t know of any wild dolphins that have been documented to be older than 62 years of age.

  17. Chanitte Caseus says:

    They live up 20 to 75

  18. jessica says:

    O.M.G I never knew dolphins could live for so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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