Dolphins are very intelligent mammals and have the longest memory of any other mammal other than humans. They can remember the whistle of a dolphin they lived with after 20 years of separation. They love to have fun and play. There social bonds are extremely important. They’re very good at solving problems. Research has revealed that whales and dolphins not only have the ability to learn as individuals, but they pass on what they’ve learned to other dolphins. This is a rare intelligence in the animal kingdom. Dolphins are able to recognize themselves in a mirror. They are known to mourn the loss of a pod member.
They generally mate in the spring and the fall. Gestation is 9-17 months. They generally have only one calf, twins are rare, just as they are in the humans. The Calf will nurse from it’s mother for up to two years, and stay with her for three to eight years before fending for itself. Dolphins start communicating from birth. They’ll make squeaking, whistling noises. A female calf may even return to its mother to raise it’s own calves.
Dolphins live to be 25 to 30 years old, 40 when in captivity.
Dolphins come up for air every few minutes, some can stay below the surface for 15 minutes. They generally feed early morning and late afternoon. They love to play. Some activities they indulge in is throwing seaweed at each other or carrying objects back and forth. Many like to breach, breaching is when a dolphin jumps high in the air landing on their backs. They have been known to approach divers, and/or boaters. My cousin lives on his boat and has experienced dolphins coming up into the marina. They really are charming and a pleasure to see.
Most dolphins are grey in color. There are approximately 40 different species. As in most of the animal kingdom, males are larger than females as well as heavier. They have no hair, or sweat glands. They eat fish, shrimp, jellyfish, squid and sometimes even turtles. A dolphins skin feels like rubber, but it is slippery and smooth.
SWIMMING WITH THE DOLPHINS:
Swimming with Dolphins, I have not done this yet, but it is on my bucket list. No excuse now that I live in Florida. There are many places here that offer this experience. My mother has however. She said it was one of the greatest experiences she has ever had. She tells a story about a woman who was in their group, she was frigid, intimidated and nervous. One of the dolphins sensed her fear and tried to lighten her up. It would swim up to her giving her a hand shake, splashing her, rubbing up against her ever so slightly, it swam on his hind tail and let out a laughing sound. This dolphin would not leave her side until she finally relaxed and started to enjoy the experience. “They just want us to have fun”, my mother said. There was another gentleman in their group who the instructor gave a command for the dolphin to come up behind him and push him through the water at his feet. The dolphin refused, instead it went up along side the man and put his fin up under his arm to get a similar affect. After the session the instructor asked the gentleman if had any medical issues. He stated he had a bad knee. My mother could not get over the how these gentle mammals just want to enjoy life. She was also in awe of their intuitiveness and healing powers.