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Dolphins

Dolphins are believed to be one of the most intelligent animals in the


world compared to others. This is because they are trained, can swim
with humans and also can generously communicate with them.
Moreover the female dolphins are apparently called cows, males are
called bulls and young dolphins are to be called calves.
Behaviour
Dolphins are well known for their agility and playful behaviour,
accomplishing them a favourite fan of wildlife watchers. A variety of
this species will oftenly leap out of the water, spy-hop (rising
vertically above the water level to check if the direction they are
following is clear) and follow ships, often synchronizing their
movements with one another. Scientists believe that dolphins
conserve energy by swimming alongside ships, a practice known as
bow-riding.
Appearance
Dolphins are fishlike in form, with streamlined, hairless bodies. Their
powerful, horizontal flukes, or tail fins, drive them through or out of
the water, while their forefins and dorsal fin are used for steering.
Constantly shedding their skins, dolphins accumulate no barnacles or
other external parasites. A layer of blubber protects them from cold
and seals small wounds. Dolphins breathe air through a single, dorsal
blowhole.
Reproduction
Mating Season: Throughout the year, though in some areas there is a
peak in spring and fall.
Gestation: 9-17 months depending on the species. When it is time to

give birth, the female will distance herself from the pod, often going
near the surface of the water.
Number of offspring: Usually one calf; twins are rare.
As soon as the calf is born, the mother must quickly take it to the
surface so it can take its first breath. The calf will nurse from 11
months to 2 years, and after it is done nursing it will still stay with
its mother until it is between 3 and 8 years old
Diet
Dolphins are active predators and eat a wide variety of fishes, squids,
and crustaceans such as shrimps. The foods available to a dolphin vary
with its geographic location. Coastal dolphins tend to eat fishes and
bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Offshore dolphins tend to eat fishes
and squid. Some offshore dolphins were found with deep-sea fishes in
their stomachs. This evidence suggests that offshore dolphins may
dive to more than 500 m (1,600 ft.).
Conclusion
The maximum age for bottlenose dolphins is between 40 and 50
years. The average age a dolphin can get (the life expectancy) can be
calculated from the ASR Annual Survival Rate (the percentage of
animals alive at a certain point, that is still alive one year later). For
the dolphin population in Sarasota Bay, the ASR has been measured
to be about 0.961. This yields a life expectancy of about 25 years.
For the population in the Indian/Banana River area, the ASR is
between 0.908 and 0.931. This yields a life expectance between 10.3
and 14 years. So the actual life expectancy differs per region.
By Diana Rzayeva!