Marine Mammals

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Dolphins generally give birth to just one baby at a time, which is referred to as a calf. Unlike many animals, dolphins rarely have multiple births. After enduring a gestation period of 9 to 17 months, expectant dolphins part from their pod mates to deliver their offspring alone, typically near the surface of the surrounding water.

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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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  • How long can dolphins hold their breath?

    Q: How long can dolphins hold their breath?

    A: According to the Institute for Marine Mammal studies, dolphins can generally hold their breath for as long as 10 minutes. They normally breathe about four to five times per minute.
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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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  • What is a whale skeleton made of?

    Q: What is a whale skeleton made of?

    A: Whales have skeletons that are mainly composed of the same materials as the skeletons of other vertebrates. These materials consist mainly of collagen fibers woven together with small, inorganic crystals, according to the University of Cambridge.
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  • What are dugongs?

    Q: What are dugongs?

    A: Dugongs are also known as seacows. They are large mammals with front flippers and tails, which they use as propellers. They live in the seas around Australia.
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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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  • 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 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 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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  • What is the dolphin's habitat?

    Q: What is the dolphin's habitat?

    A: Dolphins live in all of the world's oceans. They are also found in several major river systems, including the Indus, the Ganges and the Amazon. No one species lives in every ocean, but every ocean has at least one dolphin species present.
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  • What adaptations do walruses have?

    Q: What adaptations do walruses have?

    A: The most prominent adaptations of walruses are their tusks, which they use for many purposes. Other adaptations include sensitive whiskers, which help them locate food, and the blubber under their thick skins, which provides energy and protects them against the arctic cold.
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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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  • Are dolphins more intelligent than humans?

    Q: Are dolphins more intelligent than humans?

    A: Research indicates that, by human measures for intelligence, dolphins are the second-most intelligent species on the planet. MRI scans show that dolphins are self-aware, and other research suggests that the marine mammals have a special vulnerability for suffering and trauma.
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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 many babies do dolphins have?

    Q: How many babies do dolphins have?

    A: Dolphins generally give birth to just one baby at a time, which is referred to as a calf. Unlike many animals, dolphins rarely have multiple births. After enduring a gestation period of 9 to 17 months, expectant dolphins part from their pod mates to deliver their offspring alone, typically near the surface of the surrounding water.
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  • Do killer whales eat polar bears?

    Q: Do killer whales eat polar bears?

    A: Generally, killer whales will not eat polar bears, but because they can be opportunistic eaters, if a polar bear presents itself as food the whale may eat it. However, the two animals typically leave each other alone.
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  • Do dolphins sleep with one eye open?

    Q: Do dolphins sleep with one eye open?

    A: Dolphins do sleep with one eye open, a skill that is necessary for survival. When dolphins sleep, only half of their brains shut down, which enables them to remain vigilant to the threat of predators and to regulate their breathing to avoid drowning.
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  • Where do killer whales live?

    Q: Where do killer whales live?

    A: Killer whales live mostly in cool coastal waters. However, they can be found in most oceans across the globe. The least likely area to find them is in the middle of open warm areas, such as the Pacific Ocean.
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  • Are penguins mammals?

    Q: Are penguins mammals?

    A: Penguins are not mammals, even though they are warm-blooded animals. Penguins are one of only a few species of flightless birds left in the world. Many people mistakenly believe penguins have fur instead of feathers because of the extremely tight packing of the feathers on their bodies.
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  • What is the collective noun for a group of whales?

    Q: What is the collective noun for a group of whales?

    A: The collective noun for a group of whales is a pod. Since many kinds of whales are social, they can often be found in pods made up of their relatives or even unrelated whales.
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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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