Dolphins, Dolphins, and More Dolphins!
What is a Dolphin?
Did you know that dolphins, or Tursiops, are actually air breathing mammals just like you and me? Well, dolphins, although they live in the water, breach the surface to breathe air through their blowholes. You may even see dolphin calves taking their first gulps of air just above the water’s surface. Dolphins come in all shapes and sizes ranging from the common bottlenose dolphin to the huge killer whale.–Yes orcas are technically a type of dolphin! Dolphins are composed of two flippers, a wide body, rounded head, and a tail fin (or fluke) for gliding through the waters.
How do Dolphins Communicate?
If you ever get the pleasure of seeing a dolphin up close, you will not only witness it’s magical persona but also hear the shrill sounds that each one uses for communication. These sharp noises accompanied by high pitched whistles can be heard for miles around. Each dolphin species makes a specific noise but most commonly the bottlenose dolphin communicates with these series of squeaks, grunts, and whistles. If there is a predator nearby, dolphins are known to “warn” the others by emitting certain noises that tell where the threat is located.
Where are the Dolphins Located?
Most dolphins tend to enjoy the warm waters such as those along the Gulf Coast of Florida. They seem to migrate along the eastern coast of the United States with the majority of bottlenose dolphins settling between South Carolina and Florida. A thriving marine ecosystem with plenty of tasty fish and warm waters make this area the perfect habitat for these dolphins. The main threat, or predator, of the dolphin remains to be mankind after all these years.
Dolphins give birth to their offspring. They have a gestation period similar to a humans except it ranges from nine months to twelve months on average. Young dolphins are called calves. Calves nurse from the mother for about two years and then start relying solely on hunting as a means of survival. Mother dolphins are known to be very nurturing and caring creatures. Their young even stay alongside them for up to eight years! Now that’s a good mother!
Dolphin pods can vary in size. Some pods only have between nine and twenty members while others can have as many as a hundred thousand members. The biggest dolphin pod was sighted off the coast of San Diego, California on Thursday, February 14, 2013. It was reportedly seven miles long! Now most dolphin pods seen along our Gulf Coast tend to average around ten dolphins, they are still just as amazing. This is due to the fact that the interactions and playful nature of our coastal dolphins has brought visitors and spectators from around the world to our little piece of the Gulf.
Dolphin Cruise Anyone?
Dolphins are completely “aww” inspiring. Tourists from around the country flock to the Gulf Coast in warmer months to witness the playful interactions of these unique beauties. That’s where dolphin cruises originated. Come take part in Southern Star Dolphin Cruise where you can witness these mammals in their natural habitat year round. The cruise captain knows the best places to see these dolphins and their young gliding through the waters or leaping through the air for your entertainment. Be prepared for a lifetime experience on one of these peaceful cruises through the beautiful waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast.