Marine Mammals

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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 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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  • How do bottlenose dolphins reproduce?

    Q: How do bottlenose dolphins reproduce?

    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 eats sea lions?

    Q: What eats sea lions?

    A: Killer whales and sharks eat sea lions. Although sea lions swim faster than both predators, killer whales and sharks are often able to surprise them before they can escape.
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  • What is a blue whale's habitat?

    Q: What is a blue whale's habitat?

    A: Blue whales are oceanic animals and have been seen in every ocean. In the Northern Hemisphere, distinct populations exist near Iceland, California and in the region between Newfoundland and Greenland. In the Southern Hemisphere, the whales are often sighted in the Antarctic, and near Australia and New Zealand.
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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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  • Did whales have legs?

    Q: Did whales have legs?

    A: Ancestors of modern-day whales, such as Pakicetus, were amphibious cetaceans and possessed legs. Ambulocetus, a descendant of Pakicetus, had shorter legs more suited for aquatic life in addition to paddle-shaped feet.
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  • What climates do dolphins live in?

    Q: What climates do dolphins live in?

    A: Forty species of dolphins live in varied climates, from the arctic, which is inhabited by killer whales, to the Caribbean, which is preferred by bottlenose dolphins. Even the Amazon River basin is home to several dolphins, including the endangered finless porpoise, according to Whale Facts.
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  • Do whales have hair?

    Q: Do whales have hair?

    A: Whales have hair, as all species of whales are aquatic mammals. Instead of having scales, like most other marine animals, whales have a fine layer of hair over their bodies.
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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 you call a baby whale?

    Q: What do you call a baby whale?

    A: A baby whale is a calf, his mother is a cow and his father is a bull, and together, the family is a pod. Baby whales grow in the mother's uterus from 10 to 18 months, depending on the species. A calf receives nutrients in utero through an umbilical cord.
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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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  • 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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  • How big is a whale's stomach?

    Q: How big is a whale's stomach?

    A: Depending upon the species, a whale's stomach can be enormous, holding up to 2,200 pounds of food in the case of the blue whale. This whale's main diet consists of krill and copepods filtered through stiff, comb-like teeth called baleen plates.
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  • Why do otters hold hands?

    Q: Why do otters hold hands?

    A: While it may appear to be adorable, sea otters hold hands for a practical purpose. The behavior known as 'rafting' is where single sex groups of sea otters numbering anywhere from two to several hundred group together, often holding hands to prevent themselves from drifting apart.
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  • What is a killer whale's niche?

    Q: What is a killer whale's niche?

    A: The killer whale's niche is at the top of the ocean's food chain. Killer whales inhabit most oceans and are predators that have been known to attack other marine animals, such as sharks.
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  • What do Weddell seals eat?

    Q: What do Weddell seals eat?

    A: Weddell seals prey upon fish, squid and octopus, prawns and crabs, although their diet may vary slightly based on seasonal changes, according to TravelWild. Their favorite fish species to prey on are emerald rock-cod and Antarctic silverfish. Weddell seals seem to eat their food underwater.
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  • What are some facts about sea otters?

    Q: What are some facts about sea otters?

    A: Sea otters are mammals that belong to the weasel family, have the densest fur of all animals and are a keystone species. As a keystone species, the sea otter is critical for the health and well-being of a great number of other species. They are the heaviest weasels and the second smallest marine mammals.
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  • Are whales herbivores?

    Q: Are whales herbivores?

    A: Whales are carnivores, not herbivores. Herbivores have strictly plant-based diets, while carnivores consume meat. A whale's typical diet includes octopus, fish, shrimp, krill and squid, making these mammals carnivores. A blue whale can consume 4 tons of krill daily.
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  • How does a dolphin protect itself?

    Q: How does a dolphin protect itself?

    A: The main mechanisms dolphins use to protect themselves include avoiding natural predators by detecting them with echolocation and traveling in numbers for safety. When they cannot avoid attacks or scare off predators, dolphins defend themselves by fighting with their attackers.
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  • What is the habitat of a manatee?

    Q: What is the habitat of a manatee?

    A: Sometimes called a sea cow, manatees live in the warm waters of bays, rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. They are graceful and gentle mammals that have been known to reside in the North American east coast, the Amazon River and in the rivers at the west coast of Africa.
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  • Why do dolphins jump out of the water?

    Q: Why do dolphins jump out of the water?

    A: Dolphins World cites five possible reasons as to why dolphins jump out of the water: to get a better view over the water, to conserve energy, to play, to get rid of parasites and to communicate with others.
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