Baby dolphin feeding milk

How Do Dolphins Breastfeed Underwater? – North American Nature

I was lucky enough to be in Bali recently on a dolphin watching trip. I wanted to know how dolphins breastfeed their young underwater, so I asked one of the guides. His answer left me with some questions, so I looked into this further when I got back to shore.

Dolphins have inverted nipples inside mammary slits. When the calf is ready to feed, they dive underneath the mother and nudge the mammary slits. The nipple is released, and the mother feeds milk to the calf that rolls its tongue into a u-shaped tube.

I found this interesting and wanted to find out some more information. If you want to find out more, please read on.

If you or someone you know loves dolphins then check out these great dolphin gifts on Amazon by clicking here

How Do Dolphins Breastfeed Underwater? 

All mammals have evolved and developed different, unique mechanisms that enable them to survive in their environments. In the case of dolphins, they have their mechanisms of breastfeeding underwater. Whales are surrounded by water, and breastfeeding in this kind of environment is not as easy as it would be for a land mammal.

Dolphins have two mammary slits on their underside, which have an inverted nipple inside. The nipples are not the same as terrestrial mammals that have protruding nipples, and young dolphins can not feed at any time as land mammals can.

Whales often swim close to the shore. Find out why here

When the dolphin calf is ready to feed, they dive underneath the mother and nudge the mammary slits. This signals to the mother that the calf is ready to feed. This also works as a way to stimulate the mammary slit to release the nipples.

Whereas the young of land mammals will regulate the amount of milk they take from their mother, marine mammals are different.

Dolphin calves do not control how much milk they take, but the mother does. The mother squirts their milk from their teats into the calf’s mouth.   

The young calf wraps its mouth around the teat, rolling its tongue into a u-shaped tube. The rolled tongue is then pressed onto the upper palate and placed around the nipple.

This ensures that the milk is channeled directly into the mouth and ensures that none of the fluid is lost into the water. The dolphin’s mammary glands have muscles that first contract, then shoot out milk directly into the mouth.

During the first few weeks after birth, the mother will lay on her side to help the young find the mammary glands.  After the first few weeks, the calf will lay on its side to drink the milk, and the mother slows down their swimming.  

One of the main reasons dolphins can successfully breastfeed underwater is due to the milk’s consistency. Whale milk has an unusually high-fat content.

The high-fat content makes the milk thick enough to pass through the water. High-fat concentration in the milk is important because the adult female whale can eject liquid into the calf’s mouth without dissolving into the water around their lips.

If you want to know how whales breastfeed underwater, I have written an article which you can find here.

Do Dolphins Produce Milk?

Dolphins are sea mammals and possess the typical characteristics of all mammals. This means that they have mammary glands and produce milk to feed their young. 

With all species of dolphins, the calves require plenty of milk for them to grow and stay healthy. Generally, a baby dolphin consumes milk every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day. As they get older, this happens less frequently.  

Dolphins have been seen to nurse their young for up to four and a half years, generally with a minimum of two years.

Did you know there are 16 species of dolphins in North America? Find out what they are here.

Do Dolphins Have Nipples?

Dolphins do have nipples, but they are not extended on the outside as in humans. Dolphins spend their entire life inside the water, so nipples and breasts outside would not be the best place for them. Dolphin nipples are enclosed within folds of skin referred to as mammary slits. 

How Does Dolphin Milk Taste?

The milk of a dolphin has a very thick consistency. The thickness is attributed to the high-fat concentration that can reach between 108 to 180 gm per liter. The milk is white in appearance with a yellowish tinge and a creamy consistency.

The taste is oily and lacks sweetness, and has a fishy odor. (Please don’t ask me how I know!!)

How Long Do Dolphins Breastfeed?

Baby dolphins need the milk to survive and to grow. Once they are large enough to survive without the milk, then they will change to a diet of mainly fish.

Most dolphins will stay with their mothers for at least three years. Some calves will nurse up to the age of six, or even ten in some cases. Calves can grow extremely fast in their first year, reaching seven times as large as when firstborn due to the milk’s high-fat content.   

Dolphins give birth to their next calf only when the previous calf has been fully weaned. Due to this, dolphins will only have another calf after at least three years.  

Dolphins do not reproduce very often, which allows plenty of time for the calves to grow fully and increase their survival chances. The mother will lactate and produce milk until the calf has been weaned.

Dolphins swim differently to fish and whales.  Find out more here

What is the Importance of Milk to the Young Dolphins? 

Similar to land mammals, milk is a vital part of a young dolphin’s existence. Baby dolphins need milk for healthy nourishment and growth.

Dolphin calves survive on milk until they are ready to wean. Without milk, dolphins have low survival rates, starving to death. A newborn dolphin consumes large amounts of milk in a day and is their sole source of food at this time.

The milk is rich in nutrients required for the baby dolphin to grow and thrive. The liquid is packed with healthy fats that provide energy calf. Other nutrients are required to boost the immune system, support bone development, and ensure that the brain functions properly.

Dolphins use echolocation. Find out more in this article I wrote

Breastfeeding creates a bond that is unbreakable between the mother and her calf. This bond is important for the development of the baby whale. 

Research has proved that the relationship between marine mammals and their parents is crucial for their survival. Marine mammals living in captivity have a shorter lifespan than their counterparts in the wild. In captivity, dolphins cannot nurture naturally as they would in the wild.

Dolphin milk contains a high concentration of fatty acids. The fat in the milk helps develop blubber. Blubber is a thick layer of fat under the skin of dolphins.

Blubber develops as the dolphin grows. Since dolphins spend all of their time underwater, they need to prevent heat loss and keep their body temperatures constant.

Blubber acts as an insulating layer against the coldness of the water. The high-fat content from the milk enables the thick insulating fat layer to develop.

If you or someone you know loves dolphins then check out my favorite dolphin gifts on Amazon.

Recommended Books

Guide to whale watching in North America : USA, Canada, Mexico. Where to go, what to see.

Handbook of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises Of the World

Sick dolphin calf improves with tube-fed milk, helping hands


RAYONG, Thailand (AP) — The Irrawaddy dolphin calf — sick and too weak to swim — was drowning in a tidal pool on Thailand’s shore when fishermen found him.

The fishermen quickly alerted marine conservationists, who advised them how to provide emergency care until a rescue team could transport the baby to Thailand’s Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center for veterinary attention.

The baby was nicknamed Paradon, roughly translated as “brotherly burden,” because those involved knew from day one that saving his life would be no easy task.

Irrawaddy dolphins, considered a vulnerable species by International Union for Conservation of Nature, are found in the shallow coastal waters of South and Southeast Asia and in three rivers in Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia. Their survival is threatened by habitat loss, pollution and fishing, when dolphins are caught unintentionally with other species.


Officials from the marine research center believe around 400 Irrawaddy dolphins remain along the country’s eastern coast, bordering Cambodia.

Since Paradon was found by the fishermen July 22, dozens of veterinarians and volunteers have helped care for him at the center in Rayong on the Gulf of Thailand.


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  • “We said among ourselves that the chance of him surviving was quite low, judging from his condition,” Thanaphan Chomchuen, a veterinarian at the center, said Friday. “Normally, dolphins found stranded on the shore are usually in such a terrible condition. The chances that these dolphins would survive are normally very, very slim. But we gave him our best try on that day.”

    Workers placed him in a seawater pool, treated the lung infection that made him so sick and weak, and enlisted volunteers to watch him round the clock. They have to hold him up in his tank to prevent him from drowning and feed him milk, initially done by tube, and later by bottle when he had recovered a bit of strength.

    A staff veterinarian and one or two volunteers stay for each eight-hour shift, and other workers during the day handle the water pump and filter and making milk for the calf.

    After a month, Paradon’s condition is improving. The calf believed to be between 4 and 6 months old can swim now and has no signs of infection. But the dolphin that was 138 centimeters long (4.5 feet) and around 27 kilograms (59 pounds) on July 22 is still weak and doesn’t take enough milk despite the team’s efforts to feed him every 20 minutes or so.


    Thippunyar Thipjuntar, a 32-year-old financial adviser, is one of the many volunteers who come for a babysitting shift with Paradon.

    Thippunya said with Paradon’s round baby face and curved mouth that looks like a smile, she couldn’t help but grow attached to him and be concerned about his development.

    “He does not eat enough but rather just wants to play. I am worried that he does not receive enough nutrition,” she told The Associated Press on Friday as she fed the sleepy Paradon, cradled in her arm. “When you invest your time, physical effort, mental attention, and money to come here to be a volunteer, of course you wish that he would grow strong and survive.”


    Sumana Kajonwattanakul, director of the marine center, said Paradon will need long-term care, perhaps as much as a year, until he is weaned from milk and is able to hunt for his own food.

    “If we just release him when he gets better, the problem is that he he won’t be able to have milk. We will have to take care of him until he has his teeth, then we must train him to eat fish, and be part of a pod. This will take quite some time,” Sumana said.

    Paradon’s caregivers believe the extended tender loving care is worth it.

    “If we can save one dolphin, this will help our knowledge, as there have not been many successful cases in treating this type of animal,” said veterinarian Thanaphan. “If we can save him and he survives, we will have learned so much from this.”

    “Secondly, I think by saving him, giving him a chance to live, we also raise awareness about the conservation of this species of animal, which are rare, with not many left.”

    90,000 Whales feed their young with milk. Interesting facts about whales


    1. Whales feed their young with milk. Interesting facts about whales
    2. Whales give birth to live cubs. Why are the whale and dolphin not fish?
      • Why do whales and dolphins look like fish?
    3. How whale milk is obtained. How do whales feed their young?
      • Author: Pavel Chaika, editor-in-chief of Poznavayka magazine
    4. How a killer whale feeds its cubs. Didn't eat or hunt
    5. Video whale and baby.

    Whales, how they feed their young with milk. Interesting facts about whales

    A baby blue whale is called ... a calf. The calf is born after a year of pregnancy, it weighs 2-3 tons and reaches up to 7 meters in length.

    Did you know that a baby whale begins to swim immediately after birth. Having been born, he must take a breath, otherwise he will die if he enters the water with lungs that are not filled with air. The female whale at the time of childbirth lifts the body above the water. The cub, falling into the water, manages to inhale the air. Expanded lungs give him buoyancy.

    Cubs are fed under water, the duration of each feeding is short (several seconds). Feeding a whale is not an easy task: the baby has no lips at all. Under water, he covers one of the mother's two nipples with a tongue rolled into a tube. He does not have to suckle: his mother injects milk directly into his throat. The cub drinks up to 200 liters of thick cream-colored milk per day.

    Whale milk is thick like sour cream: sperm whales have up to 53% fat, baleen whales have about 37% (good cow's milk has a fat content of 4%). Its surface tension is 30 times greater than that of water, which is especially important considering feeding under water (the stream of milk does not blur in water). The nutritional content of whale milk is very high. Already after 7 months of life, the "child" weighs up to 25 tons! Blue whales are the fastest growing animals in the world.

    Blue whales mate for a long time; it is known that the male always keeps close to the female and does not leave her under any circumstances. Whales protect their offspring from killer whales and white sharks, which are especially dangerous for them, driving the young into the pack.

    Embrace of mother and calf is expressed by touching noses.

    After six months, the calf feeds on its own, but does not leave its mother, who helps him. She circles around a cluster of plankton and rounds up food to her baby. In general, mother - she is the mother of the ocean.

    Whales give birth to live babies. Why are the whale and dolphin not fish?

    Although both the whale and the dolphin live in the water, and for this reason many rush to declare them fish, nevertheless, they are marine mammals. These animals, which, by the way, also include seals, seals, sea lions, sperm whales, etc., differ from fish in many ways. First of all, the whale and dolphin do not breathe with gills like fish, but with lungs like any land animal, releasing the used air through a small hole located next to the head. Being on the surface, these animals inhale the right amount of air, and then descend to the depth, gradually consuming it. In addition, the whale and dolphin do not spawn, like fish, but give birth to live young, which they feed with their own milk, for which they got their name - mammals. And finally, the body of whales and dolphins is not covered with cold scales, like a fish, but very smooth and warm.

    Why do whales and dolphins look like fish?


    Hundreds of millions of years ago, when life was just emerging on our planet, the ancestors of many modern marine life, incl. and dolphins, according to zoologists, "lived" on land. That is why dolphins, whales, and other marine animals are able to breathe, produce live offspring, take care of them, etc. However, these terrestrial inhabitants fed in the water, because. the seas and oceans literally teemed with a variety of "edibles", for which they learned to swim. Over time, the ancestors of dolphins and many other marine mammals finally left the land and moved to the sea, where for thousands of years they then took on the appearance of fish in order to easily and calmly exist in the marine environment. So aquatic life "made" dolphins become like fish.

    How whale milk is obtained. How do whales feed their young?

    The question is not idle, and there are still different opinions among scientists on this matter. The fact is that living in water, whales are completely immersed in it most of the time. But even when they rise to the surface, a significant part of their body remains under water. Usually only the blowhole protrudes, and for a moment a part of the massive back is shown.

    Also, cetaceans do not have the soft lips that all mammals on earth use to grasp their mother's nipple. This means that, firstly, the kitten cannot suck mother's milk on its own, and secondly, when feeding, sea water must inevitably be swallowed due to the impossibility of hermetically capturing the nipple.

    But it turned out that the kiti-mother herself injects milk into her cub's mouth with the help of special circular muscles covering the mammary gland. The kitten has to swallow a jet coming with a pressure suitable for a good fire hose. In any case, according to the testimony of a well-known cetacean specialist B. Zenkovich, a stream of milk spouting from the nipple of a whale penetrates the water at a distance of at least two meters. B. Zenkovich believes that during feeding, milk is injected with the same, if not with greater force.

    But what about sea water, which would be completely superfluous in an infant's diet?

    Once a scientist S. Budilenko, observing the sea from a helicopter, found an object sticking out of the water in a strange way, which seemed to him a piece of wood. He asked the pilot to go lower and, to his surprise, he saw a female humpback whale, which stood vertically in the water with its head down, with its udder teats up. Near her, crouching to her mother, a cub swam. After standing in this position for a minute and a half or two, the kitiha turned over, launched several fountains, after which she went headlong into the water and took her former position.

    Thus, at least one species of whale, the humpback whale, has revealed the secret of its "dairy cuisine" itself.

    Author: Pavel Chaika, editor-in-chief of Poznavayka magazine

    When writing an article, I tried to make it as interesting, useful and of high quality as possible. I would be grateful for any feedback and constructive criticism in the form of comments on the article. Also, you can write your wish/question/suggestion to my mail [email protected] or Facebook, with respect, the author.

    How a killer whale feeds her cubs. Didn't eat or hunt

    Scientists at the Washington State Whale Research Center say it's been three years since they've seen a born and surviving killer whale calf. Over the past 20 years, 40 killer whales were born, and 72 died. The observed flock belongs to the so-called southern resident killer whales. "Resident" killer whales differ from "transit" ones in that they do not travel around the world, but live in the same coastal zone.

    Some scientists believe that resident and transit killer whales are different species. They have a different type of food (resident killer whales feed on fish and shellfish, and transit ones feed on smaller marine mammals), different types of “socialization” (resident killer whales live in large flocks, and transit ones travel in small groups of 2-6 animals), but most importantly - two species do not have "cross marriages".

    Southern resident killer whales, a community living off the coast of Vancouver, were designated as endangered in 2005. There are so few of them that scientists know all the animals in the count. The community is represented by three packs, conventionally named letters J, K and L. Pack J has 23 individuals, pack K - 18, pack L - 35. Within packs, animal names consist of the letter of the pack and a number (the number is unique for the animal and is stored after of death). The female J35 brought a possible 24th member to the flock, but he did not survive.

    Photo: Taylor Shedd, Soundwatch /

    Several factors contribute to the decline in "population": they are deafened by sound radars and the noise of ship engines, and the decline in the population of Chinook salmon - the giant Pacific salmon - puts them on a starvation diet. In addition, they suffer the most from all types of pollution: killer whales are at the top of the food chain and get all the cumulative poisons, like heavy metals, that the fish they feed on have accumulated. Salmon, in turn, is dying out due to dams built on the rivers. Like sturgeon in the Caspian Sea, Chinook salmon need to travel upriver to breed, and dams prevent this.

    The killer whale, upset by the death of her calf, not only strayed from the pack, she did not eat or hunt. When, after 17 days, she nevertheless left the body and returned to hunting and playing with her flock, the scientists breathed a sigh of relief.

    Video whale and baby.

    How do dolphins feed their babies with milk?

    Dolphins are caring mothers. They, like human women, give birth to one cub at a time and devote all their time to caring for it.

    Dolphins protect children, introduce them to the world around them, and teach them how to find food. It is all the more interesting to learn how the life of dolphins proceeds in the first months of life.

    Dolphins give birth on average once every two years. The cub can be born both small - 50-60 cm, and quite large - a third of the mother's length, like a beluga whale.

    Before giving birth, the dolphin moves a lot, “yawns”, arches its back and tail. Noticing these signs, other residents of the herd come to her aid. They form a tight ring around the giving birth, help and protect if necessary.

    Immediately after birth, the baby is pushed to the surface so that the lungs expand and he can breathe fresh air.

    In the first hours of life, the density of a baby dolphin is less than that of water. This happens because in the mother's womb the cub manages to accumulate a good fat reserve. Therefore, for the first few hours, it looks like a float - it moves in an upright position, slightly moving its front fins.

    A baby dolphin remembers his parent by her voice. Immediately after giving birth, the mother dolphin begins to whistle intensely - ten times more often than usual. This is done so that the cub does not confuse its mother with other dolphins that are next to it.

    In the first few months of a dolphin's life, the mother does not leave him. The dolphin's voice is thin and shrill. When he wants to attract attention to be fed, he “cries” just like a human cub.

    In one respect, dolphins are very different from the inhabitants of the land - this is a dream. A person is accustomed to the fact that infants sleep a lot, and this is true not only for primates, but also for cats, dogs, bears and many other mammals.

    But with dolphins, things are exactly the opposite. In the first month of life, the dolphin practically does not sleep. His mother is also forced to stay awake, watching the restless child. Newborn dolphins are not yet able to hold their breath for a long time and rise to the surface of the water on average once every three minutes. In the second month of life, babies begin to sleep a little. Gradually, they reach the norm of sleep - adult dolphins sleep 5-8 hours a day.

    Dolphins grow up very quickly. For example, a beluga whale cub at first gains weight by 250 grams per day - that is, a kilogram in 5 days. On the other hand, they eat well - up to 30 feedings per day. Feeding under water is a natural process for dolphins, because the airways of cetaceans are separated from the esophagus, so animals cannot choke.

    In the first year of life, the baby stays close to the mother. He can swim only in a circle with a diameter of two or three meters, and in the center of this circle is the parent. If the baby tries to disobey, the mother punishes him. Everything is strict - like people.

    Over time, the baby dolphin requires less and less mother's milk. At about a year and a half, he begins to eat fish and get food on his own. The mother gives him useful skills - teaches him to communicate and get food. This happens easily and naturally - in the form of games and imitation. Smart and intelligent, dolphins learn quickly.

    But there are no caring fathers among dolphins . All cubs are brought up in a female herd - from the first days of life they are surrounded by aunts and grandmothers.


    • Blue whale feeds its baby: for the first time in the video
    • dolphins
    • Dolphin types
    • Features of behavior
    • Dolphin speech
    • Birth and childhood of dolphins
    • Dispency
    • ,0005 Figure articles on the topic:

    A blue whale is feeding its baby: for the first time on video

    Male dolphins form their own separate male clan. They show interest in females only during the mating season. When a male cub grows up, he can join the male clan. Dolphins, as a rule, remain in the maternal herd. Here they return after the mating season, here they give birth and raise children.

    The period of intensive reproduction in females lasts about 15 years - at the age of 4-5 to 20. Dolphins do not have a single biological norm “how long to give birth” for all. One mother can give birth to 7-8 cubs, and the other - only two or three. This suggests that dolphins have distinct social roles. For example, "I'm lucky in love" or "I love children." Or vice versa.

    You can see unique photos of dolphin births here.


    First of all, it must be said that dolphins are not fish, despite the fact that they live in the water. These creatures are mammals and viviparous, just like all the inhabitants of the animal world. In this case, the female gives birth to only one cub, and not many. And the mother bears her child from ten to eighteen months. The name of the animal, which dates back to the ancient Greek language, is translated as "newborn baby." What this is connected with is now difficult to determine. Perhaps dolphins got this name for their piercing cry, similar to the cry of a child, or maybe for the resemblance to a human fetus in the womb.

    Dolphins are characterized by the presence in both jaws of a fairly significant number of homogeneous conical teeth, both nasal openings are usually connected into one transverse crescent-shaped opening at the top of the skull, the head is relatively small, often with a pointed muzzle, the body is elongated, there is a dorsal fin. Very mobile and dexterous, voracious predators, living mostly socially, are found in all seas, rise high into rivers, feed mainly on fish, mollusks, crustaceans; sometimes they attack their relatives. They are also distinguished by curiosity and traditionally a good attitude towards a person. In some dolphins, the mouth is extended forward in the form of a beak; in others, the head is rounded in front, without a beak-shaped mouth.

    Dolphin species

    There are more than seventy species of dolphins in nature. They have among themselves specific similarities, such as live birth, nutrition with milk, the presence of respiratory organs, smooth skin and much more. Also, dolphins of different species have their own characteristics. Some animals have an elongated nose, while others, on the contrary, are depressed. They may differ in color and body weight.

    Common dolphin or common dolphin is one of the most gregarious, frisky and fast cetaceans. Its speed reaches 36 km / h, and when it rides a ship wave near the bow of high-speed vessels, then more than 60 km / h. Jumps "candle" up to 5 m, and horizontally up to 9m. Immerses for 8 minutes, but usually for a period of 10 seconds to 2 minutes.

    The Black Sea common dolphin feeds in the upper layer of the sea and does not dive deeper than 60-70 m, but the oceanic form catches fish living at depths of 200-250 m. For accumulation of food, the common dolphin gathers in large herds, sometimes together with other species - pilot whale and short-headed dolphins. It treats a person peacefully, never bites, but does not tolerate captivity.

    White flanks live more often in families, which are supposed to be made up of the offspring of several generations of the same female. However, males and lactating females with young, as well as pregnant females, sometimes form separate (apparently temporary) shoals. During the period of sexual activity, mating groups of mature males and females are also observed. Mutual assistance developed.

    Live up to 30 years. The sound signals of common dolphins are as diverse as those of bottlenose dolphins: quacking, howling, squeaking, croaking, cat cry, but whistling prevails. Up to 19 different signals were counted. This species has unusually strong signals, the meaning of which has not been established, called "shot" (duration 1 s) and "roar" (duration 3 s) turned out to be with very high sound pressure (from 30 to 160 bar) and a frequency of 21 kHz.

    Bottlenose dolphin lives settled or roams in small flocks. The tendency of the bottlenose dolphin to the coastal zone is explained by the near-bottom nature of food. For food dives in the Black Sea to a depth of 90 m, in the Mediterranean - up to 150 m. There is evidence that in the Gulf of Guinea it dives to 400-500 m. Under the conditions of the experiment in the USA, it dives up to 300 m. turns. Her respiratory pauses last from a few seconds to 6-7 minutes, up to a maximum of a quarter of an hour. Most active during the day.

    Bottlenose dolphins in captivity breathe 1-4 times per minute, their heart beats 80-140 (average 100) times per minute. The bottlenose dolphin can reach speeds of up to 40 km/h and jump to a height of up to 5 m.

    The bottlenose dolphin skillfully controls the complex vocal apparatus, in which the three pairs of air sacs associated with the nasal canal are most significant. To communicate with each other, bottlenose dolphins emit communication signals with a frequency of 7 to 20 kHz: whistling, barking (chasing prey), meowing (feeding), clapping (intimidating their relatives), etc. When searching for prey and orienting themselves under water, they emit echolocation clicks resembling creaking rusty door hinges, frequency 20-170 kHz. American scientists recorded 17 communication signals in adult bottlenose dolphins, and only 6 communication signals in cubs. Obviously, the system of signals becomes more complex with age and individual experience of the animal. Of this number, 5 signals were common for bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales, and common dolphins.

    Bottlenose dolphins, like all cetaceans, sleep near the surface of the water, usually at night, and during the day only after feeding, periodically opening their eyelids for 1-2 s and closing them for 15-30 s. A weak blow of the hanging tail from time to time exposes the sleeping animal from the water for the next respiratory act. In sleeping dolphins, one hemisphere alternately sleeps while the other is awake.

    Behavioral features

    An interesting fact is that dolphins use echolocation for hunting. Their hearing is arranged in such a way that animals can determine the number of objects, their volume and the degree of danger from the reflected signal. Dolphins can stun their prey with high frequency sounds, paralyzing them. These creatures hunt only in packs, and they cannot live alone either. Dolphin families sometimes number about a hundred individuals. Thanks to these abilities, the animal is never left without plentiful food.

    Interesting facts about dolphins include the "Gray paradox". James Gray established back in the thirties of the twentieth century that the speed of an animal in water is thirty-seven kilometers per hour, which contradicts the muscular capabilities of the body. According to the scientist, dolphins need to change the streamlining of their body in order to develop a similar speed. Experts from the USA and the USSR puzzled over this issue, but the final decision was never made.

    Dolphins have a poor sense of smell, but excellent eyesight and absolutely unique hearing. Emitting powerful sound impulses, they are capable of echolocation, which allows them to perfectly navigate in the water, find each other and food.

    Dolphin Speech

    Dolphins are able to produce a wide range of sounds from the nasal air sac located under the blowhole. There are roughly three categories of sounds: frequency-modulated whistles, explosive impulse sounds, and clicks. Clicks are the loudest among the sounds made by marine life.

    Dolphins have a sound signal system. There are two types of signals: echolocation (sonar), used by animals to study the situation, detect obstacles, prey, and “chirps” or “whistles”, for communication with relatives, also expressing the emotional state of the dolphin.

    Signals emitted at very high, ultrasonic frequencies that are inaudible to human hearing. The sound perception of humans is in the frequency band up to 20 kHz, dolphins use frequencies up to 200 kHz.

    In the "speech" of dolphins, scientists have already counted 186 different "whistles". They have about the same levels of organization of sounds as a person: six, that is, a sound, a syllable, a word, a phrase, a paragraph, a context, they have their own dialects.

    In 2006, a team of British researchers from the University of St. Andrews conducted a series of experiments, the results of which suggest that dolphins are capable of assigning and recognizing names.

    Communication with dolphins has a positive effect on the human body, especially on the child's psyche. This conclusion was made by British experts back in 1978 year. Since that time, the development of "dolphin therapy" began. Now it is used to treat many physical and mental diseases, including autism, and other ailments. Swimming with dolphins relieves chronic pain, improves immunity and even helps children develop speech.

    Incredibly romantic fact from the "private" life of dolphins - ethologists studying Amazon dolphins have discovered that males give gifts to potential mates. So, what gift is the female dolphin waiting for to consider her as a candidate for the continuation of offspring? Of course, a bouquet of river algae!

    India has become the 4th country to ban the keeping of dolphins in captivity. Earlier similar measures were taken by Costa Rica, Hungary and Chile. The Indians call dolphins "a person or person of a different origin than "homo sapiens". Accordingly, the "person" must have its own rights, and its exploitation for commercial purposes is unacceptable by law. Animal behavioral scientists (ethologists) say it is very difficult to define the line that separates human intelligence and emotions from the nature of dolphins.

    Dolphins not only have a "vocabulary" of up to 14,000 audio signals that allows them to communicate with each other, but they also have self-awareness, "social consciousness" and emotional empathy - a willingness to help newborns and the sick by pushing them to the surface of the water.

    Dolphins are famous for their playful behavior and for the fact that for the sake of entertainment they can shoot air bubbles under water in the form of a ring using a blowhole.

    Birth and childhood of dolphins

    These can be large bubble clouds, bubble streams or individual bubbles. Some of them act as a kind of communicative signals.

    Within a pack, dolphins form very close bonds. Scientists have noticed that dolphins care for sick, wounded and elderly relatives, and a female dolphin can help another female with difficult childbirth. At this time, nearby dolphins, protecting the female in childbirth, swim around her for protection.

    Another proof of the high intelligence of dolphins is the fact that adults sometimes teach their cubs to use special tools for hunting. For example, they “dress” sea sponges on their muzzles in order to avoid injury when hunting for fish that can hide in bottom sediments of sand and sharp pebbles.

    The oldest captive dolphin was named Nelly. She lived in the marine mammal park "Marineland" (Florida) and died when she was 61 years old.

    When dolphins hunt, they use an interesting tactic to trap the fish. They begin to circle around the school of fish, close the ring, forcing the fish to huddle into a tight ball. Then, one by one, the dolphins snatch the fish from the center of the school, preventing it from leaving.


    The life of dolphins in many ways resembles the life of toothed cetacean sperm whales. Like whales, dolphins give birth in the water. At the time of birth, the female raises her tail high above the water, the dolphin is born in the air and manages to inhale the air before falling into the water.

    For the first few hours, the baby dolphin swims like a float in a vertical position, slightly moving its front flippers: it has accumulated a sufficient supply of fat in the womb and its density is less than that of water.

    The female dolphin bears the cub for ten months.

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