Dolphins

WILD ESTUARINE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS on the coasts of Georgia and lower South Carolina

GENERAL INFORMATION and FACTS

Dolphins are in the Order of Cetaceans which includes the whales and porpoises.

Dolphins are carnivores that primarily eat fish, crustaceans and squid.

Dolphin teeth are used mainly for capturing and holding prey as opposed to biting, tearing and chewing food for swallowing. Dolphin mainly swallow their prey whole.

It is universally accepted that dolphins detect objects using their echolocation system and can also sense the density and “see into” the object similar to ultrasound scanning and x-ray procedures.

The Odontoceti is a group of marine mammals known as toothed whales. The bottlenose dolphin belongs to this group.

Estuarine dolphins generally grow to a maximum size of approximately 2 to 2.5 meters (6-8 feet) from a normal birth size of about 0.75 to 1 meter (approximately 28-36 inches).

Female dolphins give birth approximately every two years and as evidenced from our surveys, show mating behavior throughout the year. Gestation is approximately 12 months.

Dolphin may swim at speeds approaching 40 km/h (25 mph).

The lifespan of a dolphin may range from 25 to 65 years depending on the health of their environment.

Dolphins cannot smile. The smile on a bottlenose dolphin’s face is just the natural shape of their mouth and remains in place no matter what the situation.

Dolphins may appear from light to dark gray above with a pale underside that may range from white to bright pink.




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