If you love learning about dolphins, you are in the right place. Not only are dolphins kind and lovable creatures that many flock to just to see them, they are very intelligent and overall interesting creatures as well. Here are some more things that you should know about dolphins that are truly amazing facts about the species.
Dolphins can take anywhere from nine months to seventeen months to gestate. The primary difference in the amount of time that it takes for a calf to be born really depends on the species of dolphin that it is. Once born, the calves typically nurse from the mother for up to two years, and will typically stay with the mother for up to eight years. The mothers often show strong maternal behavior, and can even be seen cuddling or nestling their young.
Along with live birth and nursing, dolphins do have other things attributed to being mammals, primarily the need to breathe. Since dolphins have lungs and do not have gills they need to periodically resurface to breathe in air through their blowhole. Unlike the usual land mammal that uses the same mouth to breathe and eat, the dolphin has a mouth to eat and a blowhole to breathe. This separation of mouth and blowhole make it so that the dolphin does not drown while hunting. If only a few tablespoons of water get into a dolphin’s lungs, it can drown.
There are over forty species of dolphin worldwide. This includes certain breeds of whales that are actually considered dolphins biologically, such as the pilot whale and the killer whale, and also include up to five species of dolphins that live in freshwater rivers.
Dolphins are carnivorous by nature, and can eat fish, squid, and other marine life to survive. Dolphins are skilled hunters and the water their bodies are shaped, plus the power in their tail make for very quick water movements. It is estimated that a dolphin weighing about two hundred fifty pounds can eat over thirty pounds of seafood a day.
Dolphins will typically stick together in big numbers. They like to hunt and play together, and they stick together to help their old or injured to survive. Dolphin pods are usually small, but they can grown up to a thousand members or more.
Dolphins have very few natural enemies. They are typically at the top or towards the top of the food chain, especially depending on where the dolphins are located. Aside from this, the biggest known threat to dolphins are humans. Sadly, pollution, fishing, and hunting can spell disaster for the dolphin, and human behavior have even driven some species, like the Yangtze River Dolphin, extinct.