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 in 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 close to the top of their food chain with few natural predators other than sharks. When faced by a predator, dolphins often circle, head butt or use their tails to hit the other animal in self defense. According to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, sharks often attack dolphins from behind or below as shown by bite scars.Full Answer >
Dolphins are mammals, and all mammals have some type of hair. There is a misconception that the bottlenose dolphin has no hair on its body, but dolphins do have a small area on their noses that produces hair.Full Answer >