Bottlenose dolphins are the favorite sea animal of many due to their intelligence and fun personalities. But what could be more fun than such a playful creature?
Their babies of course! So, how many babies do bottlenose dolphins have at a time? And what are some other interesting facts about baby dolphins?
Keep reading to find out!
Bottlenose Dolphin Reproduction
Bottlenose dolphins live about 40-50 years but reach sexual maturity from ages 5-13 for females and 9-14 for males.
Surprisingly, after the maturation process, bottlenose dolphins are able to reproduce for the rest of their lifespan, which is not common for most mammals.
Interestingly, bottlenose dolphins are known to reproduce at any time of the year and females are usually able to produce offspring every two to six years.
Though dolphin babies, called calves, can be born at any time, the majority are born during warmer months. The gestation period, or length of pregnancy, is usually around 12 months.
Bottlenose dolphins typically give birth in shallow water by themselves, but will occasionally be assisted by another dolphin.
Due to the fact that these animals are mammals, their babies are born live.
In other words, bottlenose dolphin calves are fully developed before being born and are capable of swimming and breathing shortly after.
In fact, baby bottlenose dolphins are born tail first to avoid water getting into their blowhole before they can take their first breath.
Right after the birth, they swim to the surface to breathe for the first time. They are typically around 39-53 inches long and can weigh anywhere from 22 to 44 pounds!
Most of the time, bottlenose dolphins only have one calf at a time. In very rare cases, they may have twins.
One reason for this may be due to the amount of energy having a baby can take from female bottlenose dolphins.
Specifically, mother dolphins swim next to their offspring in a particular way to avoid separation and make it easier for their baby to swim.
This form of swimming can drain a lot of energy and leave little energy for other necessary tasks the female bottlenose dolphin may have as a result.
Calves stay with their mothers for about 3-6 years and learn to hunt after about a year and a half.
Overall, it is interesting to learn about how many babies a bottlenose dolphin can have at a time, when reproduction occurs, and the abilities of bottlenose dolphin calves.
It seems many animals have the ability to complete necessary tasks from the minute they are born, whereas human babies have to learn to do almost everything.
In conclusion, bottlenose dolphin calves are intelligent creatures who seem to have a close bond with their mother, especially after a year of gestation.
So, the next time you see a baby dolphin be sure to give its mother credit!