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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Are harp seals endangered?

    Q: Are harp seals endangered?

    A: Harp seals are not an endangered species, according to Scientific American. However, scientists and colleagues at Duke University and the International Wildlife Fund have determined that a decrease of winter ice at harp seal breeding grounds is an ongoing threat.
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  • How long have whales been on Earth?

    Q: How long have whales been on Earth?

    A: Fossil records show that the first whales lived approximately 50 million years ago, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Primitive whales, belonging to the extinct suborder Archaeoceti, had features in common with land mammals and were the ancestors of today's baleen and toothed whales.
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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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  • In which ocean zone do dolphins live?

    Q: In which ocean zone do dolphins live?

    A: According to EnchantedLearning.com, dolphins live in what is known as the euphotic zone, which is sometimes referred to as the sunlit zone — part of the continental shelf that extends down to depths of anywhere from 50 to 660 feet. This zone is so named because it is lit by the sun for at least part of the day.
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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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  • How long do bottlenose dolphins live?

    Q: How long do bottlenose dolphins live?

    A: Male bottlenose dolphins live an average of between 40 and 45 years, while females can live over 50 years. Females reproduce every 3 to 6 years after they reach sexual maturity between the ages of 5 and 10.
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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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  • 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 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 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 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 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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  • Why is the blue whale endangered?

    Q: Why is the blue whale endangered?

    A: The blue whale is endangered because it was hunted almost to extinction in the late 19th and early 20th century. Though the International Whaling Commission banned the hunting of blue whales in 1966, some countries continued to illegally hunt them until the 1970s.
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  • Why do whales jump out of the water?

    Q: Why do whales jump out of the water?

    A: While scientists do not know for certain, there are several theories as to why whales jump out of the water. Common suggestions for the behavior include the attempt to communicate or an act of courtship. Humpbacks are known best for this behavior, which is known as "breaching."
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Why do people kill blue whales?

    Q: Why do people kill blue whales?

    A: Whalers once hunted blue whales for their blubber, which was rendered into whale oil. They also hunted whales for meat. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial hunting of blue whales in 1966. Whaling is no longer a major threat to blue whales although they are sometimes taken in illegal hunts.
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