Dolphins stem from the toothed whale family which includes the Pilot whales and Orcas. You will find these smart swimmers mostly in shallow waters of the continental shelves. If you are lucky enough, you may just be there at the right time to even catch a bit of dolphin excitement. bottlenose dolphins are show boats and will put on a show every now and then, it may even get better if you toss them a few fish.
What Do Dolphins Eat?
Dolphins like many other carnivorous fish are not picky eaters. They hunt in groups and will devour hundreds of pounds of fish each day. They will also hunt and eat squids and octopus.
What is That Sounds The Dolphins Make?
Many dolphins in including the famous bottlenose dolphin will whistle, click, moan grunt and squeak. Even though they make these sounds at any given time and at any depths, it is widely believed that each different sound sends out a different frequency and is direct communication with other dolphins or the dolphins environment. The sounds the dolphins make vary in volume, frequency power and pattern and wavelength. What dolphin and bats have in common is what is called echolocation. Echolocation is when high pitched sounds are given out which bounces off objects and listen for their echoes are basically listen to tell where the object is. The Bottlenose will produce pitches from 0.25 to 150 Khz.
Dolphins are known around the world for their friendly and playful behavior, even the way they look makes you believe that they have a permanent smile. As stated before, if you are at the right place at the right time in the wild, you will definitely see dolphins sometimes put on small acrobatic shows while swimming, some will even do leaps and twist and rise vertically out of the water to view their surroundings. Dolphins are very energetic species as we can see with all their see antics. Dolphins are not loners, you will find many living in social groups of about 6 to over a hundred. Socialization is a smart way to survive in any intelligent animal. Dolphins use these large groups of course to their advantage. It is especially useful when hunting fishes as they use the power of echolocation seek out prey and will hunt them down in groups with very sophisticated hunting strategy. When they seek and find schools of fish, you will see the intelligence of the dolphin comes into full effect as they form a circle around these fish, trapping them and making the fish form one big sphere of frightened meal. They then take turns to swim through the fishes and snatching up a couple each time they go through. This is what is called working together for a common cause.
How Much does a Dolphin Weigh?
The familiar bottlenose dolphin is around 8 feet (2.5m) long and weighs between 440-660 lbs. Dolphins comes in about forty species and they all are diverse when it comes on to weight and size.
Largest Dolphin Family
The largest dolphin species is the orca, or killer whale. Male orcas grow to about 25 feet in length and weigh about 19,000 pounds.
Smallest Dolphin Family
The smallest of the dolphin species, Maui's Dolphin, is around 4 feet (1.2m) long and weighs around 90 lbs (40 kg).
How many offspring Do Dolphins have?
Dolphins have a very unique birth rate. They will give birth once at every 2-4 years, the gestation period is a remarkable 11-17 months! That's a long time to be swimming around with a baby in you. Dolphins will generally give birth to a single calf. The other unique thing about the dolphin's birth is that the calf is born tail first, not head what we a used to in mammal births. The calves will be nursed by their mother other for about 1-2 years.
How Long Do Dolphins Live?
Lifespan: Most dolphins live long lives. The bottlenose dolphin can live over 40 years, and the orca can live to be 70 or 80!
Are Dolphins Endangered?
Well like many other animals the dolphins numbers are not that stable. The main reason of course is man and their developments and many times selfish acts. Here are some reasons why Dolphins are endangered.
Caught in The Net
- Dolphins become entangled in disregarded fishing gear and are unable to reach the surface of the water for air and of course will eventually drown.
- Here comes man and their developments ans machines again. Some river dolphins share their habitat with us humans, and when that normally happens we usually see a decline in the lower species. we build dams, river attractions and just about anything that will destroy the dolphins habitat.
- Climate change has a multitude of effects on the oceans which can have adverse impacts on marine mammals such as dolphins. As ocean temperatures rise from climate change, prey populations can be affected. Climate change also affects ocean currents altering prey distribution, feeding grounds, and migratory pathways.
- So there are countries who think dolphin meat is good for consumption and as such will go out and catch them in the numbers. They will even catch pregnant dolphins, thus reducing the population even more as the offsprings are not even given a chance to born.
Dolphins don't really have any feared enemies. They don't spend much time worrying about sharks and other Ocean Predators. In general, their only real predator is the shark. But don't go thinking that just any shark can come bullying and chomping away at these tough mammals. Only the larger sharks dare to attack dolphins. Dolphins have evolved over the millennia to be pretty tough, so in general even most sharks stay away from them.