National Dolphin Day takes place Friday, April 14, 2017!
Here are five fun facts about bottlenose dolphins:
Dolphins are marine mammals, which means they must come to the surface of the water to breathe. They can hold their breath for up to 7 minutes!
Dolphins can exhale air at 160 km/hr (100 mph) through their blowholes.
Dolphins never fully sleep. One side of their brain must always be active so that they remember to breathe. (They are not involuntary breathers like humans. They must consciously swim to the surface to take a breath.)
Dolphins have a nearly 360-degree field of vision, and they can move one eye independently of the other.
Dolphins produce high-frequency clicks that humans can’t hear. They use these clicks in a sonar system called echolocation. When the clicking sound reaches an object, it bounces back to the dolphin as an echo. Dolphins can process this information to determine the shape, size, speed, distance, and location of the object.
A rare pink bottlenose dolphin was recently captured on video by charter boat captain Erik Rue. Pinky was first spotted by Rue in 2007. To everyone’s delight, Pinky made another appearance eight years later, and she might be pregnant!
Image by Erik Rue.
According to scientist Greg Barsh, Pinky is most likely an albino. The pink hue comes from the blood vessels showing through her pale skin, which has no color. Albinism happens when there is a genetic mutation. The cells that make melanin, which produces the color in hair and skin, fail to make enough pigment, if any at all. People who have albinism have very pale skin, eyes, and hair.
Albinos can suffer from skin and vision issues as a result of their lack of melanin. Animals with albinism may be easily spotted by predators because they lack the appropriate camouflage. Therefore, albino animals, such as Pinky, are very rare in the wild.
Discovery Cove in Orlando welcomed a female dolphin calf on March 18 at 3:45 am. The calf weighs about 22 kg (48 lbs.) and is 1.2 m (47 in.) long. The baby dolphin is doing well, nursing and bonding with her mother Natalie.
The baby female dolphin born at Discovery Cove is doing well, bonding with mother Natalie. Photo by Discovery Cove.
A female Atlantic bottlenose dolphin calf bonds with her mother at Discovery Cove in Florida.
A female Atlantic bottlenose dolphin calf was born at Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida on November 30. The baby weighed 35 pounds and measured 3.5 feet long.
This birth is notable because scientists were able to pre-select the dolphin’s gender using a new technology called “sperm-sexing” where X chromosomes (which produce female offspring) are separated from Y chromosomes (which produce male offspring). This advancement allows scientists to preserve genetic diversity in dolphins.
According to SeaWorld, the new baby is doing well, continuing to develop and bonding with her mother.
Saturday morning saw the birth of a dolphin at SeaWorld Orlando. The gender of the baby has not been determined yet, but has been feeding and bonding with the mother, Starkey. Guests at the park can visit the pair at the Dolphin Nursery.
A dolphin calf was born Tuesday at 9:36am at SeaWorld Orlando. The calf weighs 35 pounds and is 40 inches long, with the sex unknown at this time. It was seen nursing and bonding with its mom, both a good indication that the calf is doing well. Park guests can see the pair at SeaWorld’s Dolphin Nursery. In the nursery pregnant dolphins, new mothers, their calves and experienced moms live together.
Back in September of last year, we posted a video of dolphins making air bubble rings with their blow holes. Now, SeaWorld curators in Orlando, FL have noticed a surge in this playful activity in their dolphins at Dolphin Cove. The dolphins create a perfect bubble ring and then push it with their rostrums (bottlenoses) or bite it. The dolphins learn the technique by watching other dolphins create rings.
Snopes.com has recently verified the phenomenon of dolphin bubble rings. This video shows dolphins creating these bubble rings, which are essentially water vortices infused with air, and then playfully biting them or swimming through them.