Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dolphin Babies!

Dolphin Cove has been blessed to have five healthy and beautiful babies born in their breeding program.

Dolphins have a gestation period of 12 months and will lactate for 18 months.

Dolphin babies known as "calves" are born tail first and are approximately 39–53 in length, weighing 22–44 lbs.

The calf once born usually sinks to the bottom as it is not able to swim yet, the mother quickly lifts her calf to the surface for it's first breath and then spends about 3 minutes teaching the dolphin to swim; which it quickly learns....even though it looks a bit clumsy for a while.

In caring for her calf, a mother dolphin stays close by and attentively directs the calf's movements. The calf is carried in the mother's "slip stream," the hydrodynamic wake that develops as the mother swims.

Calves nurse under water, a process that takes approximately 15 - 30 seconds. The mother's milk is more like a gel, allowing the baby to get a great deal in a very short period of time.

Dolphins are also born with a mustache (tiny hairs on their upper rostrum (mouth)), one of the major characteristics of a mammal. This mustache helps the calf in breast feeding and will eventually fall out.

Dolphin Cove truly loves their babies and it is amazing to watch as the handlers night after night perform their vigilant 24 hour watches, with the veterinarian checking in constantly, just to ensure that the babies and mothers receive the best postnatal care.


1 comment:

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