Dolphins give birth to live calves while staying in relatively shallow waters. Normal delivery results in a calves being born tail (or fluke) first.Know More
As marine mammals, dolphins gestate live young and give birth to live calves that are prepared to breathe and swim shortly after birth. Gestation periods vary for different dolphin species; bottlenose dolphins gestate their young for 12 months, while spinner dolphins give birth after 11 months. Typically, dolphins give birth to only one young at a time. According to the University of Utah, a healthy adult female bottlenose dolphin will have one calf every 2 to 4 years. Similarly, spinner dolphins have one calf every two years, according to Texas Tech University.
Many dolphin species engage in mating in summer months; because gestation periods are about a year long, most dolphins are born in the summertime as well. After birth, mothers nurse their young calves. The calves will then swim with their mothers' pods, which are dolphin social groups.
Though mothers may not nurse their young for the entire duration, most dolphin calves will stay with their mothers for 3 to 6 years. Newborn dolphins are relatively small, usually three or four feet long, and they measure 8 to 12 feet once fully grown.Learn more about Marine Life
Some dolphins can jump as high as 25 feet above the water's surface. Juvenile spotted dolphins have been observed jumping 15 feet. Spinner dolphins get their name from the fact that they spin while jumping. Spinner dolphins can complete seven revolutions in the air before hitting the water.Full Answer >
All dolphins have conical teeth that are used for biting and trapping prey, such as crustaceans and fish, but are not used for chewing. Dolphins swallow their prey whole. Dolphins fall into the odontoceti, or "toothed whale," suborder of cetaceans, the order that includes all whales, dolphins and porpoises.Full Answer >
Wild dolphins usually live for between 25 to 30 years, while dolphins in captivity live to be around 40 years old on average. Few dolphins in the wild die of old age.Full Answer >
Dolphins do not mate for life. A pair of dolphins typically engages in mating for a few days, but then the male goes on to mate with other females.Full Answer >