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 do gray whales eat?

    Q: What do gray whales eat?

    A: Gray whales eat a wide variety of crustaceans, such as ghost shrimp and amphipods, along with many other organisms, including polychaete worms, herring eggs and animal larvae. They feed off the ocean bottom, sucking in a large amount of sediment, then forcing it out through their baleen plates. Food items are trapped in baleen filters and are scraped off by the whales' tongues to be digested.
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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 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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  • 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 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 being done to save the humpback whales?

    Q: What is being done to save the humpback whales?

    A: Some of the conservation efforts to save humpback whales include the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan, the Pacific Offshore Cetacean Take Reduction Plan, the Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks project and the More North Atlantic Humpbacks project. In addition, safe boating practice education and humpback whale research and monitoring aid the effort to protect humpbacks.
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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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  • What do Right whales eat?

    Q: What do Right whales eat?

    A: Right whales primarily feed upon zooplankton, a type of plankton consisting of mostly microscopic live animals. These include tiny crustaceans such as copepods and krill; pteropoda; free-swimming sea slugs and sea snails; and cyprid, which are the mobile larvae of barnacles.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 animals eat penguins?

    Q: What animals eat penguins?

    A: Penguins have a variety of predators, including seals, killer whales and sharks. Additionally, birds, foxes and pumas eat penguins when their ranges overlap. Contrary to popular belief, polar bears are not predators of penguins, as polar bears inhabit the northern hemisphere, while penguins inhabit the southern hemisphere.
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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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  • How do whale sharks protect themselves?

    Q: How do whale sharks protect themselves?

    A: As the largest fish in the world, whale sharks rely on their size to dissuade predators. Reaching up to 60 feet in length and weighing more than 20 tons upon maturity, adult whale sharks are only preyed upon by orcas and humans.
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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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  • 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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  • What eats whales?

    Q: What eats whales?

    A: Killer whales, sharks and false killer whales eat whales. False killer whales and killer whales may hunt whales in packs. Humans are largely considered to be the primary predator of whales.
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  • How do humpback whales protect themselves?

    Q: How do humpback whales protect themselves?

    A: The sheer size of a fully grown humpback whale dissuades all but the most aggressive sea predators from attacking them. In addition, whales typically swim in large groups called "pods" to protect smaller, weaker whales and youth. Mothers with calves swimming within a pod are accompanied by "escort" whales, which follow along slightly outside the pod to protect against aggression from competing humpback groups.
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