Marine Mammals

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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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  • What is a baby sea lion called?

    Q: What is a baby sea lion called?

    A: A baby sea lion is called a pup. When born, pups are usually about 2.5 feet long and weigh between 13 and 20 pounds, but can weigh as much as 50 pounds.
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  • How long to baby otters stay with their mothers?

    Q: How long to baby otters stay with their mothers?

    A: Different otter species spend different amounts of time living with their mothers after birth. River otters stay with their mothers for about a year, usually long enough for her to become pregnant and deliver a new litter, while sea otter pups can remain dependent on their mothers for a period of five months to a year.
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  • How fast can dolphins swim?

    Q: How fast can dolphins swim?

    A: The most common dolphin species, the bottlenose dolphin, has a top speed of 21.7 miles per hour. The fastest member of the dolphin family is the killer whale, which can reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour.
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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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  • How do dolphins talk?

    Q: How do dolphins talk?

    A: Dolphins start communicating from birth by squawking, whistling, clicking and squeaking, according to National Geographic. Members of a pod sometimes vocalize in varying patterns simultaneously, much like people holding different conversations at a party.
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  • How big is a basking shark's mouth?

    Q: How big is a basking shark's mouth?

    A: The large mouth of the basking shark can measure over 3 feet across when open. The species swims with its mouth agape, catching plankton and other small organisms on bristles along massive gill slits, which filter as much as 1,500 gallons of water per hour during feeding.
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  • What are the predators of dolphins?

    Q: What are the predators of dolphins?

    A: Dolphins are close to the top of their food chain with few natural predators other than sharks. When faced by a predator, dolphins often circle, head butt or use their tails to hit the other animal in self defense. According to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, sharks often attack dolphins from behind or below as shown by bite scars.
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  • Can I swim with dolphins in Ireland?

    Q: Can I swim with dolphins in Ireland?

    A: There are several places in Ireland where a visitor may swim with dolphins. The Irish seas are often cold and harsh, however, and a traveler has to plan the visit to the Irish coast in the summer months.
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  • Who are the predators of leopard seals?

    Q: Who are the predators of leopard seals?

    A: Leopard seals frequently grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 1300 pounds, with only one predator to fear: killer whales. There are anecdotal accounts of sharks hunting leopard seals, but there are no records of this happening on a regular basis.
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  • How long can a whale hold its breath?

    Q: How long can a whale hold its breath?

    A: Although the amount of time that a whale can hold its breath varies by species, the beaked whale can hold its breath for up to 2 hours. The sperm whale can hold its breath for up to 90 minutes.
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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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • What are the adaptations of a pygmy hippo?

    Q: What are the adaptations of a pygmy hippo?

    A: The pygmy hippopotamus has several special adaptations for living in its environment, including major sensory organs on top of its head, strong muscles to keep ears and nostrils shut underwater and secretions of a red liquid that moisturizes the skin. These special adaptations are ideal for the creature's aquatic habitat.
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  • How many types of dolphins are there?

    Q: How many types of dolphins are there?

    A: There are 42 species of dolphins in the world. There are 38 species of marine dolphins and four species of river dolphins. The normal habitat for dolphins is saltwater, but some do live in freshwater. Dolphins are generally found in the shallow coastal waters of warm locations.
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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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  • How big are dolphins when they are born?

    Q: How big are dolphins when they are born?

    A: Baby dolphins, or calves, are approximately 3.8 feet long and weigh around 40 pounds. Baby dolphins gestate for a period between 9 and 17 months, depending on the species. Calves are born live in shallow water and quickly taken to the surface for their first breath.
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  • How are sharks and dolphins alike?

    Q: How are sharks and dolphins alike?

    A: Sharks and dolphins are alike in many ways, sharing several physical characteristics such as their side fins, dorsal fins and torpedo-shaped bodies. Although these animals vary wildly – one is cold-blooded and one is warm-blooded – they both evolved for underwater speed.
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