Dolphins reproduce every one to three years, with the gestation period lasting approximately 12 months. Calves are born fully formed and are able to swim alongside their mothers immediately. They leave their mothers between the ages of 3 to 8, staying until they learn how to feed, forage and socialize. Dolphins reach reproductive age between the ages of 5 to 10 and have an average life expectancy of 40 years.Know More
Dolphins have defined home ranges where they rest and feed and spend the majority of the day looking for food. However, they can swim hundreds of miles in a day, traveling back and forth, hunting prey or diving into the depths. They are extremely social creatures, hunting and living in large pods with rigid hierarchies. Large pods are mixed, but dolphins also form three different types of smaller pods: a nuclear pod, with a single male and female; a nursery group, with several females and young; and a bachelor pod, with males.
However, in captivity, dolphins have much shorter life spans, dropping to a half or third of their life span in the wild. Dolphins born into captivity often are unable to form the kind of social relationships they need to thrive, depressing them and causing health problems.Learn more about Marine Mammals
Killer whales, also called orcas, are conceived via sexual reproduction between a sexually mature bull and a cow in estrus. The gestation period is approximately 17 months, at the conclusion of which a calf typically measuring 8 feet long is born to the cow.Full Answer >
The stages that make up the life cycle of a killer whale are baby, adolescent and adult. Males typically live for about 30 years, and females typically live about 50 years.Full Answer >
Dolphins are members of the Odontoceti, a suborder of cetaceans - that is, all whales, dolphins and porpoises - that means "toothed whales." There are approximately 40 species of dolphins and all are carnivores, primarily subsisting on fish and cephalopods.Full Answer >
Dolphins have historically had a reputation for being shark killers. This reputation may have arisen from an incident at the Miami Sea Aquarium in the 1950s during which a group of bottlenose dolphins killed a sandbar shark that was swimming too close to the dolphins' young. However, there is very little scientific evidence to suggest that dolphins would overcome a shark in a confrontation.Full Answer >