Marine Mammals

A:

The bottlenose dolphin reproduces through sexual copulation. The gestation period is 12 months. While twins do occur in bottlenose dolphin births, single calves are the most common. A calf remains with its mother from 18 months to 8 years following its birth.

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  • What is the elephant seal mating ritual?

    Q: What is the elephant seal mating ritual?

    A: The first step in the elephant seal mating ritual involves battles for supremacy between males. Afterwards, the dominant males drive away the weaker ones and establish harems of 30 to 100 females. The bulls then copulate with the cows in their harems. Only a few of the most powerful bulls have an opportunity to mate.
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  • What does the inside of a whale look like?

    Q: What does the inside of a whale look like?

    A: Whales are not fish, but mammals, and the inside of a whale looks similar to that of a land mammal. They have skeletons with long backbones, circulatory systems similar to warm-blooded animals, large hearts and lungs, large teeth and inner ears that are adapted to hear underwater. To provide buoyancy, store energy and insulate them against cold temperatures, whales have a layer of blubber under their skin.
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  • Do dolphins live in coral reefs?

    Q: Do dolphins live in coral reefs?

    A: Dolphins live near coral reefs, but they do not live in coral reefs. Dolphins, like all other ocean species, benefit from a robust coral reef ecosystem, because reef inhabitants maintain the balance of nutrients that helps to normalize water quality.
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  • What eats dolphins?

    Q: What eats dolphins?

    A: Sharks, killer whales and humans are the primary eaters of dolphins. Dolphins are near the top of the food chain and employ many defensive strategies, so they are not often eaten by predators.
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  • Why do people hunt blue whales?

    Q: Why do people hunt blue whales?

    A: Blue whales have been hunted by people since the 1700s because of the value of their blubber and body parts. Oil is one of the primary products generated from oil blubber. Blue whales have been used for production of oil used in lamps, candles and various beauty products.
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  • How do beluga whales defend themselves?

    Q: How do beluga whales defend themselves?

    A: Beluga whales defend themselves by blending in with the polar ice caps that they swim near. For example, they often swim by large white chunks of snow in the water to hide from their main predators. They also have superb hearing and distinct voices, so they can call each other for protection. They have strong skin and fins, and their eyes have a protective substance on the cornea.
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  • What do whale sharks eat?

    Q: What do whale sharks eat?

    A: Whale sharks are filter feeders, which means that they eat massive amounts of tiny crustaceans, plankton and other small organisms. They have specialized passive filter structures in their mouths that allow sea water to pass through and strain out food matter.
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  • How do harbor seals protect themselves?

    Q: How do harbor seals protect themselves?

    A: Harbor seals defend themselves from humans and predators by relying on their sensitive hearing to alert them and allow them to vacate the area. During the breeding season, males protect their territory from rival males by engaging in stylized fighting. While strong and fast swimmers, harbor seals lack other defense mechanisms and often fall prey to killer whales, sharks and the occasional coyote or bobcat.
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  • Where do harp seals live?

    Q: Where do harp seals live?

    A: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, harp seals live in the waters surrounding the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and can be found between Newfoundland and Northern Russia. The entire harp seal population is distributed into three groups, and each group has its own breeding site.
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  • What is the name for a baby whale?

    Q: What is the name for a baby whale?

    A: A baby whale is called a calf. Birth seasons and gestation periods vary among whale species. Most whale calf births are single, but twin births do happen occasionally.
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  • What are baby dolphins called?

    Q: What are baby dolphins called?

    A: Baby dolphins are called calves. Female dolphins are called cows, and males are called bulls. A mother dolphin forms a strong bond with its calf, and a dolphin calf usually stays with its mother for three to six years.
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  • What are baby seals called?

    Q: What are baby seals called?

    A: Newborn and baby seals are commonly referred to as pups until they are 5 years old. After the five-year mark, young seals are called yearlings.
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  • What eats bottlenose dolphins?

    Q: What eats bottlenose dolphins?

    A: Bottlenose dolphins are occasionally preyed upon by large sharks and killer whales. They are common members of the family Delphinidae, or oceanic dolphins, and live worldwide in tropical and temperate waters. Two species of bottlenose dolphin exist: the common bottlenose dolphin and the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin.
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  • What is the killer whale's scientific name?

    Q: What is the killer whale's scientific name?

    A: The scientific name of the killer whale is Orcinus orca. Instantly recognized by its black and white color, adult orcas commonly reach sizes of 32 feet and 6 tons or greater.
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  • Do whales make milk?

    Q: Do whales make milk?

    A: Whales are mammals, so they produce milk. In order for an organism to be classified as a mammal, it must have certain physiological features, and feeding their young with milk is one requirement. Whales also have lungs, are warm blooded and have a fine layer of hair.
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  • What are dolphins' enemies?

    Q: What are dolphins' enemies?

    A: Although dolphins are apex predators, they are sometimes eaten by sharks and killer whales; however, their primary predator is mankind. Dolphin pods attack sharks on sight, circling protectively around the weakest member of their group and attacking until the shark is driven away or killed. Dolphin remains have also been found in orca stomachs. Humans kill dolphins either by accident or intentionally during large-scale fishing operations.
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  • What sound does a seal make?

    Q: What sound does a seal make?

    A: A seal makes a sound that is a mixture of a bark and an eerie whaling sound, depending on the species of seal. Sea lions are known to bark whenever they come out of the water as they snort to clear their nostrils.
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  • How long do harp seals live?

    Q: How long do harp seals live?

    A: Harp seals live from 25 to 30 years in the wild. They range from the North Atlantic to the Arctic and can be found in the open water and along the coastline.
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  • How many teeth does a killer whale have?

    Q: How many teeth does a killer whale have?

    A: Killer whales have 48 to 52 teeth in total on their top and bottom jaws. Their teeth reach up to 4 inches long. Although they have teeth, they do not chew their food.
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  • How long can dolphins stay underwater?

    Q: How long can dolphins stay underwater?

    A: Dolphins are able to hold their breath for 15 to 17 minutes underwater. Dolphins are actually a type of whale, and they breathe through their blow holes.
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  • How far can a whale hear underwater?

    Q: How far can a whale hear underwater?

    A: Depending upon the species, whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles away. Whales use their sounds to communicate and to navigate the ocean with echolocation.
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