Dolphins are caring mothers.
They, like human women, give birth to one baby at a time and devote all their time to caring for it.
Dolphins protect children, introduce them to the world around them, and teach them how to get food. The more interesting it is to learn how dolphins live in their first months of life.
Dolphins give birth once in two years on average. A baby can be born as a small – in 50-60 cm, and quite large – a third of the mother’s length, like a white whale.
Before giving birth, a dolphin moves a lot, “yawns”, curves his back and tail. Having noticed these signs, other residents of the herd come to her aid. They form a dense ring around the birth, help, and protection if necessary.
Immediately after birth, the calf is pushed to the surface so that the lungs spread out and he managed to breathe in the fresh air.
In the first hours of life, the density of the dolphin is lower than the density of water. This happens because in the mother’s womb the calf has time to accumulate good fat stock. Therefore, the first few hours it looks like a float – it moves in an upright position, slightly moving the front fins.
Dolphin baby remembers its parent by voice. Immediately after delivery, the dolphin’s mother begins to whistle intensively – ten times more often than usual. This is done so that the cub does not confuse his mother with other dolphins who are next to him.
In the first few months of a dolphin’s life, the mother does not leave him. The dolphin’s voice is thin and squeaky. When he wants to pay attention to himself to be fed, he “cries” just like a human calf.
One dolphin is very different from the inhabitants of the land – it’s a dream. Humans are used to the fact that infants sleep a lot, and this is relevant not only for primates but also for cats, dogs, bears, and many other mammals.
But in dolphins, the situation is the opposite. In the first month of life, a dolphin practically does not sleep. His mother also has to be awake, watching the restless child. Newborn dolphins do not yet know how to hold their breath for a long time and rise to the water surface on average once every three minutes. In the second month of life, the babies begin to sleep a little bit. Gradually, they reach the norm of sleep – adult dolphins sleep for 5-8 hours a day.
Dolphins grow very quickly. For example, a white whale calf at first add 250 grams a day – that is, a kilo for 5 days. On the other hand, and they eat well – up to 30 feeds per day. Nutrition under the water is a natural process for dolphins because the airways of cetaceans are separated from the esophagus, so the animals can not drown.
In the first year of life, the baby stays close to his mother. He can swim only in a circle with a diameter of two or three meters, and in the center of this circle is a parent. If a baby tries to disobey, the mother punishes it. Everything is strict – like in humans.
Over time, the dolphin baby requires less and less mother’s milk. In about a year and a half, it begins to eat fish and get food by itself. The mother passes on to him useful skills – she teaches him how to communicate and get food. It happens easily and naturally – in the form of games and imitation. Smart and smart, dolphins learn quickly.
But there are no caring fathers among dolphins. All cubs are brought up in a female herd – from the first days of life, they are surrounded by aunts and grandmothers.
Male dolphins form their own, separate male clan. They show interest in females only in the mating period. When a calf male grows up, he can join the male clan. Dolphins, as a rule, remain in the mother herd. Here they come back after the pre-marriage period, where they give birth and raise children.
The period of intensive reproduction in females lasts about 15 years – from 4-5 to 20. Dolphins do not have the same biological norm “how much to give birth”. One mother can give birth to 7-8 babies, and the other – only two or three. This suggests that dolphins have distinct social roles. For example, “I am lucky in love” or “I love children”. Or the other way around.