Before you go on vacation and have the opportunity to get nose to nose with a dolphin, it might be useful for you to learn a bit about these incredible animals. You probably already know some facts about dolphins, but knowing a bit more can make you feel more comfortable and prepared. This in turn will lead to a more fulfilling dolphin encounter for you, plus you can wow the trainers with your knowledge!
At any of our Dolphinaris locations, the trainer will give everyone a short overview of dolphin physiology, behavior, and more. In terms of their physiology, dolphins, specifically bottlenose dolphins, can be rather large, reaching lengths of almost 10 feet long and weighing up to a whopping 660 pounds. Bottlenose dolphins get their name from their long and rounded snouts. They are in the same scientific order as whales, porpoises, and other marine mammals.
Dolphins are famous for being extremely intelligent and can perform tasks ranging from categorization of objects, mimicry, and even recognizing themselves. They are also incredibly social creatures and carry out many activities, such as looking for food, in the company of their pod, or dolphin group. Communication is very important to dolphins and includes clicks, whistles, body language, and more.
Once they reach the right age (11 years old for males and between the ages of 5 and 7 for females), dolphins are ready to mate and reproduce. Unlike many mammals, there is no specific time of the year that dolphins prefer to mate during. A dolphin mother carries her baby in her womb for 12 months and then gives birth with the help of a female companion. It is perfectly normal, and expected, for the baby to be born tail-first.
In terms of diet, dolphins prefer squid, fish, shrimp, and other crustaceans. This can vary, however, depending on what area of the world the dolphin lives in. Their teeth are perfect for grasping food, but they aren’t made for chewing at all. Depending on many factors, that include age and water temperature, dolphins may eat between 17 and 35 pounds of food a day. Dolphins have several different techniques they use when hunting for food that exhibit their amazing intellect. Dolphins usually live up to 30 or 40 years, on average.
Hopefully this has enlightened you enough to feel more at ease about interacting with a dolphin. Don’t hesitate to ask more questions to our professionals. Our commitment is to make your experience of swimming with the dolphins one of the best experiences you’ve ever had!