How long does a baby dolphin feed on 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

How Do Dolphins Nurse? | Sciencing

••• DebraMcGuire/iStock/GettyImages

Updated May 02, 2018

By Rachelle Dragani

Thanks to their intelligence, playful demeanor and uncanny ability to leap through the sea, dolphins are among the most popular ocean animals. However, there’s a key difference between them and their fish friends. Dolphins are mammals, which mean that they nurse their young. The logistics are different from those of the mammals that nurse on land, but dolphin mothers have evolved in fascinating ways to provide their young with the nutrients they need to grow.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

To prevent waste and maintain a streamlined marine body, dolphins use inverted nipples and voluntary milk ejection to efficiently nurse their young.

Underwater Mammals

Dolphins are one of several types of marine mammals. Some marine mammals, such as otters and polar bears, are better suited to life on land even though they spend some time swimming. Others, such as sea lions and seals, have adapted to life mostly underwater but still head back to land for certain jobs like mating and molting.

Dolphins and whales represent the type of marine mammals who spend their entire lives underwater, which makes them fascinating cases of evolution. Over thousands of years, they developed characteristics to equip them to a life at sea, such as streamlined bodies to cut back on drag and flippers to help them swim. Despite these adaptations, they still exhibit two of the main characteristics of mammals: They breathe air and nurse their young.

Dolphin Anatomy

A mother dolphin’s anatomy has to be different from the body of a mother that nurses on land. A mammal such as a cow or a pig has visible nipples protruding from its body that the baby can attach to whenever it feels like it. The baby doesn’t have to worry about latching with a perfect seal because it’s not that big a deal if a little milk dribbles out. Underwater, though, dolphin bodies must stay streamlined to prevent drag, and they can’t risk lactating and losing all their milk to the surrounding water.

A female dolphin has two inverted nipples that sit within its mammary slits, near its belly. When a calf is ready to nurse, it places its beak into the slit to form a firm latch all the way around the inverted teat. With that stimulation, the mother voluntarily ejects milk. This allows her to control the flow of milk, so it goes straight to her calf and not anywhere else.

At some point, both mom and baby dolphin need to surface for air, so the feeding practice is quicker than it is for most land mammals. For that reason, dolphin milk is dense with nutrients and richer and fattier than the milk of most mammals on land.

Nursing Mothers

For the first few weeks of a calf’s life, a mother dolphin may ease its young into nursing by flipping to her side a bit. After a while, though, calves learn to nurse as the mother swims, although the mother often slows its pace while the calf feeds.

A mother may nurse her calf for up to three years, usually weaning her youngest when she is pregnant with another. Scientists believe that the nursing process is an important part of a young dolphin’s life and a way to strengthen the bond between mother and child.

Related Articles


  • Whale Facts: Dolphin Milk
  • Dolphin Research Center: Dolphin Physiology

About the Author

Rachelle Dragani is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn with extensive experience covering the latest innovation and development in the world of science. Her pieces on topics including DNA sequencing, tissue engineering and stem cell advances have been featured in publications including BioTechniques: the International Journal of Life Science Methods, Popular Mechanics, Futurism and Gizmodo.

Dolphins and features of their life in captivity.


Dolphins belong to the class of mammals, order of cetaceans, family of dolphins. The usual length of the animal's body is 1.2-3 meters, in some species it reaches 10 meters. Dolphins live in the seas and even rivers connected to the ocean. They swim at speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour, feed on schooling fish, cephalopods, and occasionally crustaceans.

There are about 50 species of these animals. In most dolphins, males are larger than females and in some species differ from them in a higher dorsal fin. Pregnancy of a female dolphin lasts, depending on the species, from 12 to 16 months, a single cub is born. The female feeds the baby under water with milk for at least six months, and sometimes up to two years. Large dolphins live up to 50 years, and small ones up to 30 years.

Dolphins navigate well in the water with the help of echolocation and very fine hearing (perceive fluctuations from several tens of Hz to 150-196 kHz). Dolphins have a complex voice signaling and a sound signaling (aka echolocation) organ located in a single nostril, which is connected to three pairs of air sacs equipped with a system of muscles. Frequencies of emitted signals up to 170 kHz. The central nervous system is very highly developed: the brain is large, spherical, large hemispheres with numerous convolutions (up to 30 billion nerve cells in the cerebral cortex). Due to the large size of the brain, dolphins can process a huge amount of incoming acoustic and other information; they are able, like parrots, to copy the words spoken by a person.

Dolphins are friendly and curious: they are not afraid to swim up and play with a person, although more often they either do not pay attention to people, or simply swim away.

Dolphins, like all cetaceans, breathe air, periodically rising to the surface to inhale through a single modified nostril - a blowhole located on the crown of the head.

Dolphins feed on fish, but they can only swallow it if the fish enters the esophagus head first. When the prey is caught by the middle of the body or by the tail, the dolphins emerge, throw the fish into the air and catch it now by the head. On occasion, they do exactly the same with oblong floating objects, sticks, for example, which they, as if playing, throw high into the air.

Healthy individuals provide assistance to a member of the community in need of it, regardless of sex and age. Usually, help to injured and sick animals consists in the fact that one or more healthy animals support a weakened relative, from time to time pushing him to the surface for the next breath. Such assistance can last up to several hours and days, until the victim is able to swim and breathe without assistance. Pushing the victim to the surface can be done in different ways.

Dolphins have an innate passion for imitation, adopting various tricks from each other. They are very fond of playing, balancing the ball, throwing it into the air and catching various objects, arrange collective games.

Dolphins, like other cetaceans, have one strange feature: they are thrown onto land and die there, both alone and in herds of dozens of individuals. This problem has been studied by scientists around the world for more than 50 years. There are several hypotheses: damage to the sonar - the internal organ of dolphins, the influence of water, namely its pollution, mass disease (epidemics) among animals.

Experts from the Alliance of Wildlife Conservation Organizations suggested that it is the increase in noise levels in the habitats of whales and dolphins that causes them to land on land and die. According to experts, the noise in the ocean also prevents animals from communicating normally with each other and hunting.

Dolphins get along well and breed in captivity, and can be trained. Therefore, they began to be used as circus and laboratory animals. Dolphins are kept in many aquariums and dolphinariums of the world.

Keeping dolphins in captivity is a very difficult task, since it requires not only large material costs, highly qualified staff, but also a high level of animal hygiene and feeding. Content standards are developed and controlled by national and international associations. The stay of dolphins in pools without frequent water changes is constantly associated with the risk of developing intestinal diseases that require medical intervention.

In dolphinariums, marine mammals are kept either in special pools, or in net marine enclosures, or in enclosed sea coves, or in coastal lakes with sea water.

However, aquariums vary in size, maintenance, and how suitable they are for dolphin housing.

In the wild, dolphins swim up to 160 kilometers a day, and in captivity they often live in very small pools. Wild dolphins can stay on the water for up to 30 minutes, they usually spend only 10-20% of their time on the water surface. But because the pools are very shallow, they spend more than half of their time on the surface of the water. Experts believe that it is for this reason that most dolphins in captivity weaken their dorsal fins.

In order to keep marine animals in captivity, they need to create the conditions in which they are accustomed to exist in their natural environment. This means that the water in the pool must be sea and always spotlessly clean.

Pools are kept clean with chlorine, copper sulphate and other caustic chemicals, which is why many dolphins swim with their eyes closed. Due to too much chlorine in the water, dolphins can peel off their skin.

The material was prepared on the basis of information from open sources

Where is the dolphin's mammary glands. The relationship between parents and offspring. Why Dolphins Don't Freeze Under Water

Dolphins are caring mothers. They, like human women, give birth to one cub each at a time and devote all their time to looking after him.

Dolphins protect children, introduce them to the world around them, teach them how to get 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 9 times0043 at two years old . 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 back y and tail. Noticing these signs, other members of herd come to her aid. They form a tight ring around the woman 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 the baby dolphin is less water density. 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.

Dolphin remembers its parent by 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 draw attention to himself in order to be fed - he "cries" is just like a human cub.

In one respect, dolphins are very different from land dwellers - this is 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.

Dolphins, on the other hand, 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 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. Approximately in 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 meets. All cubs are brought up in a female herd - from the first days of life they are surrounded by aunts and grandmothers.

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 for all "how many you need to give birth". 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.

Newborn dolphins, unlike the cubs of other mammals, from the first minutes after birth are very adapted to independent living. The baby is born able to swim, see, hear, exchange sound information with the mother and even distinguish her from other dolphins in the flock.

It is also interesting that even before the birth of a dolphin, females gather in a separate group and help the pregnant mother in every possible way. Moreover, during childbirth, females surround the dolphin, thus creating a kind of protective circle.

Dolphins are highly developed creatures, their behavior is in many respects similar to human, and in some cases they even surpass humans. So, for example, in the first weeks of life, a dolphin itself obediently follows its mother. Scientists suggest that dolphins are characterized by some innate behaviors. Such abilities help the cub survive in a hostile environment. Behavioral features of newborn dolphins have been observed, such as a special place near the mother: behind, slightly to the side of the dorsal fin, which provides the newborn with the safest position. If another female from the flock swims nearby, then the baby dolphin arranges itself so as to be protected from both sides by their fins. Another feature of the behavior of newborns is that the dolphin never lags behind the mother and does not swim away from her. Moreover, even if the mother swims very fast, the dolphin still adapts to her rhythm.

However, while females are trying to protect young offspring in every possible way, males are not very friendly towards young dolphins. That is why newborn dolphins lend themselves to strict upbringing. All attempts to swim up to other adult dolphins are immediately stopped by the mother. In dolphinariums, there were even cases when mothers punished their naughty children. Most often, the female pressed the cub to the bottom of the pool with a rostrum (the so-called nose of dolphins) and held it in this position for about a minute, after which it released. It may sound rather cruel, but such behavior is very justified. After all, adult males can not only drive away an annoying baby, but also leave serious damage on the body of a dolphin, up to bites.

As mentioned above, a baby dolphin never swims far from its mother, but there are times when a baby dolphin is still lost. In such situations, the baby swims closer to the surface of the water in the place where he was with his mother for the last time. He swims in circles at high speed and whistles continuously. Thus, the mother easily finds him.

It is also interesting that after the birth of a dolphin, a female from the flock usually joins the mother and continuously helps her in caring for the newborn and protecting it.

Many scientists are still amazed at the intelligence of dolphins. As you can see, these animals not only have the ability to perfectly learn various tricks and acrobatic numbers. Dolphins even have their own language and dialects, a hierarchy in the flock and even social relations.

On this day, back in 1982, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) voted for a total ban on commercial whaling, which came into effect in 1986.

Today, LifeGuide has prepared the most interesting facts about these wonderful marine mammals.

There are many species of cetaceans, but there are 3 main classifications: ancient whales, baleen (or toothless) and toothed whales, which include dolphins.

1. The largest animal in the world is the Blue Whale. Its length can reach up to 33 meters, and its weight exceeds 120 tons.

2. In one second, the whale inhales and exhales about two thousand liters air.

3. All baleen whales have larger females than males.

4. The heart of a large Blue whale alone weighs about a ton - it is the largest among animals that exist in the world.

5. A whale eats 150 to 230 kilograms of fish a day.

6. Whales, like people, feed their young with milk from the mammary glands, hence the name - mammals.

7. A baby whale gains about 100 kg every day by drinking about 380 l of milk per day.

8. Outwardly, whales and dolphins look like large fish, but they breathe not with gills, but with lungs.

9. Cetaceans can stay in the water for up to 40 minutes, and sperm whales for up to 1. 5 hours.

10. During exhalation, in large whales, the air is pushed out with such force that the loud sound of the fountain can be heard even at a great distance in calm calm weather.

11. Cetaceans have almost no sense of smell. The sense of touch, unlike the sense of smell, is very well developed. However, the most important way for whales to transmit information is through hearing. Toothed whales have especially acute hearing.

12. The whales sing. Yes, yes, the sounds through which they communicate resemble human singing in their melodiousness. The shortest "aria" lasts 6 minutes, the longest - about 30 minutes.

13. Researchers suspect that dolphins may also use their "vocal abilities" not only for echolocation, but also to stun or paralyze prey while hunting.

14. Sperm whales are considered quite dangerous whales. When wounded, they are capable of sinking an entire whaling ship.

15. The teeth of sperm whales, most often, are located only on the lower jaw. Female sperm whales always have fewer teeth than males.

16. Sperm whales grow throughout their lives, usually males are almost twice as large as females.

17. Due to the fact that whales, like dolphins, simply need to occasionally rise to the surface to breathe, only half of their brain can sleep at any given time.

18. In terms of body to brain size, a dolphin has a much larger brain than a chimpanzee. The brain of an adult representative weighs about 1 kg 700 g, despite the fact that in humans it weighs 1 kg 200 g. In addition, the dolphin has twice as many convolutions. This explains J.

19. According to the latest science, dolphins have a huge vocabulary of up to 14,000 different signal sounds, as well as self-awareness and empathy to help people.

20. Dolphins recognize each other by the "names" they have at birth. Experiments proved that the same dolphin responded to the recorded sound that signaled the name.

21. Whales and dolphins are able to play with each other.

22. Dolphins, as a rule, do not live alone. They have a complex social structure, and a wide range of emotions, including a sense of humor.

23. Sharks, no matter how predatory they are, try to avoid the company of dolphins.

24. The only known albino humpback whale on the planet was seen near Australia.

25. Dolphins by simple communication and games help children with cerebral palsy and autism to recover. Dolphins perfectly understand the condition of autistic patients, and they manage to reach out to their consciousness. This method of treatment is called dolphin therapy.

26. Dolphins sometimes have mass suicides. This is justified by the fact that dolphins feel the earth's magnetic field well, and sometimes their "sensor" fails and they go astray and are washed ashore.

27. There are fighting dolphins. They are used for military purposes and are trained to detect underwater mines, rescue sailors after the destruction of their ship, and even, according to unconfirmed reports, destroy submarines using the "kamikaze" method.

28. Dolphin scientists have noticed a fascinating fact: male dolphins give their potential mates gifts in the form of "bouquets" of seaweed.

29. And, finally, the main enemy of cetaceans is man!

Dolphins are mammals that are in the order of toothed whales, breathe with lungs and feed their babies with milk. They live in sea waters and oceans, sometimes they are found in rivers with access to the sea.

A dolphin is considered a warm-blooded animal, its body temperature must constantly be within 36.6 degrees C. To reach this mark, it must eat about 30 kg of food per day. Dolphins have more than 100 teeth, which do not take any part in chewing food. Animals swallow food whole.

Scientists have not yet really learned the whole process of eating food, how these animals prepare it, and also have not fully considered the question of what dolphins eat. Presumably, these smart animals created their own civilization, which is not yet possible to understand, but much is already known, which is described below.

What do dolphins eat from the first days of life?

Mother dolphin feeds her cubs for the first time six hours after birth. The feeding process takes place shallow under water. Since the baby does not have soft lips, he cannot suckle on his own. Milk enters his mouth in a strong jet by injection. In the very first days of its life, a baby dolphin receives mother's milk up to eight times in an hour, this lasts a whole day. Then the intervals between feedings gradually increase.

Dolphin milk is nutritious, it contains about 33% fat and 7% protein. Water and lactose make up close to 58%. Eating such food, the little dolphin grows rapidly, builds up a thick layer of fat, at the age of one and a half years it begins to try fish for the first time and gradually begins to get its own food.

What do dolphins like to eat in the seas and oceans?

In their habitats, in the seas and waters of the oceans, dolphins try to be where the fish are. In food, they are very picky, they don’t have to eat, they prefer only a certain type of food.

There is no need to talk about the sense of taste, because very little is known about it. But knowing the features of the brain, cranial nerves, one can guess about some of the taste sensations of animals and what dolphins eat. After all, they prefer only a certain type of fish. Our scientists conducted experiments and proved that dolphins have taste buds on their tongue, which means they definitely have taste sensations.

The dolphin eats fish in large quantities. During the day he eats a lot of it. Fish is his favorite food. This includes almost all types of marine fish: horse mackerel and herring, mackerel, saury and hake, flounder, mullet, anchovy. In addition to the above, squid, mollusks and crustaceans are a favorite delicacy.

The amount of food needed by adult animals is estimated at 4-5% of body weight, for lactating mothers - about 8%. It is known that beluga whales need 25-30 kg of fish per day, bottlenose dolphins daily food intake is 10-15 kg of fish products.

Due to the fact that dolphins are considered hunters, when feeding in dolphinariums, it is necessary to make sure that the food (prey) can move. But in captivity they are accustomed to frozen products. The favorite food for dolphins in this habitat is squid and fish.

Dolphins have a wide range of sounds. There are several dozen of them, they are carried far into the sea and this helps animals communicate with each other. These are moans, squeaks, whistles, clicks, chirps... You might ask, what sound do dolphins make when they eat? While eating, a sound is made - meow.

How do dolphins get food?

Dolphin foraging strategies are varied. Most often, hunting occurs in the daytime, only when there is a shortage of fish, it is necessary to hunt at night. Not the whole flock participates in night fishing, but only some individuals, catching on the seabed are nocturnal.

When hunting on the high seas, a herd of dolphins tries to surround and seal it. Then they go into it one by one and saturate themselves with food. When food is taken close to the coast, the animals drive their trophy into shallow water, closer to land. They sometimes hunt large fish alone, while with their tail they throw their prey over the water, catch it in their mouths or jam it.

Dolphins are considered good hunters. They have a special structure of fins and skin, as well as a streamlined body shape. Thanks to these features, anaphylls can swim very quickly, not yielding even to the most nimble inhabitants of the sea and ocean water spaces. The maximum speed is up to 40 km per hour, the diving depth of some species of dolphins is about 260 meters. Probably everyone knows their jumps, in the horizontal direction they are able to "fly" about 9meters, in the vertical - about 5 meters.

The most amazing facts about the life of dolphins

An incredible but true romantic fact about the life of animals: scientists who studied dolphins saw how males present gifts to their chosen ones in order to earn favor with themselves. The bouquet was ordinary seaweed.

The cerebral cortex of a dolphin has twice as many convolutions as a human.

Scientists have noticed that there are close bonds between dolphins in a flock. They carefully treat the elderly, relatives, do not leave the wounded and sick in trouble. The female dolphin comes to the aid of another female if there are difficulties during childbirth.

photo:Teruhide Tomori

Dolphins are perfectly adapted to life in sea water. They have a perfectly designed body with a compacted tail. They have 210 pieces in their mouth; swallow food without chewing. Dolphins have lungs but no gills like . Unfortunately, the dolphin cannot breathe automatically, so when the dolphin is sleeping, one part of the brain is awake and the other part is resting with the dolphin. Speaking of the brain, its weight is almost the same as that of humans. They have a four chambered heart. These mammals distinguish between tastes, that is, bitter, salty, sweet.

photo: chatallot

They spend their whole life in sea water, they never encounter fresh water. Therefore, they have to drink salt water, but the kidneys help them cope with this situation. The kidneys of dolphins are much larger than those of terrestrial mammals, because the kidneys constantly have to excrete a lot of salt.

Dolphins feed their babies with milk. The birth process is interesting. The calf appears tail first, after the appearance of the head, the mother pushes the dolphin to the surface for the first breath. Together with his mother, he lives up to 2-3 years.

photo: Domenico Savi

Communication is carried out with the help of gestures, that is, moving the body or tail. In addition to gestures, they communicate with sounds (whistling, clicking).

It has long been known that dolphins are very good-natured and curious. Often they “communicate” with people by swimming up to them.

photo: Carlos Silvestre

Dolphins are very smart and hardworking, they just get in touch with people and are easy to train.

Learn more