When bottlenose dolphins give birth others surround it for protection
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When bottlenose dolphins give birth, others surround it for protection. Itís
very dangerous to give birth in the ocean, especially for dolphins. Sharks are drawn
to the blood, and thereís nothing they like more than a nice baby dolphin. It must
be hard for the shark though. With the group of dolphins surrounding the mother,
he canít get through to the baby. After the calf is born, the group of dolphins and
mother help it up to the surface to get itís first breath of air. The calf and mother
are very close for about sixteen months. Mother dolphins can also give birth on
their own; they donít need the help of the others.
Female bottle-nosed dolphins give birth every two to three years. They
become sexually mature around age five and 12, whereas for males it's between ten
and twelve. Gestation lasts a full year, and births occur from February to
May and September to November in Florida. In European waters, births take place
Bottlenose dolphins live up to about fifty years and can weigh up to 330-440
pounds. They can be as long as 13 feet! The bottlenose dolphins have a long beak
like nose, a falcate dorsal fin, and very sharp teeth. They have one blowhole at the
top of their head. They need to breath about once every two minutes, but can hold
their breath up to six minutes.
Dolphins use high-pitched whistles and ďclicksĒ to generate sound waves.
The waves go through the water and bounce off of objects, sending an echo back to
the dolphin. The dolphin has adapted to know what the sounds mean when the echo
comes back. By using the echo, the dolphin can know how far it is away from him,
and the size and shape. This is called echolocation.
Bottlenose dolphins are famous for their ďsmile.Ē They have twenty to
twenty-six teeth. They are considered the most adaptable because they live in
harbors and ship channels around the world. They are very popular in shows at
zoos, marine parks and other tourist attractions.
They eat mainly fish from the surface of the water, squid, shrimp
and other invertebrates. They also eat at human fisheries, eating the catch that is
tossed back. When large schools of fish congregate, dolphins may form 'schools'
numbering several hundred animals to cooperate in the catching of fish. As the
dolphins approach a school, the fish try to scatter, but the dolphins, whistling
directions to each other, drive them into a dense mass and chow down. When there
arenít very many schools of fish, the dolphins become night time hunters, searching
for squid and bottom dwelling fish. At such times, dolphins hunt in small
groups instead of large.
The Coastal Atlantic, North Pacific, and the Indo-Pacific are homes to three
kinds of the bottlenose dolphin- Tursiops truncatus truncatus, T.t. gilli, and T.t.
aduncus. There are about forty different kinds of dolphins and itís close relative,
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Oceanic dolphins, Bottlenose dolphin, Dolphin, Common bottlenose dolphin, Bottlenose, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin
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