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Pink dolphins

Pink dolphins

Amazon River dolphin (Boto)

There are two species of “pink” dolphins that are found in very different parts of the world. Pink Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin The Amazon River dolphin inhabits the murky waters of the Amazon rainforest and other rivers in the region. Adult Amazon River dolphins turn pink or pinkish-grey as they mature, with males being both bigger…

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What is an orca pod?

Orcas

Orcas are highly social creatures and at the very heart of this is the orca mother forming the maternal group or matriline. Beyond this is a series of extended groups called pods, clans and communities. A typical matriline consists of an older female or ‘matriarch’ and her male and female descendants. Adult sons will stay…

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Are whales mammals or fish?

Whales, along with dolphins and porpoises, are warm-blooded mammals and breathe air like humans do. There are some significant differences between whales and fish: Whales are warm blooded. Fish are cold blooded. Whales breathe air through lungs. Fish use gills to extract air from water. Whales give birth to live young. Most fish (with some…

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What is a cetacean?

Cetacean is the word used to describe all 90 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises. Cetacean has its origins in Latin (Cetus) referring to a large sea creature and Greek (Ketos) meaning whale or sea monster. Having evolved around 50 million years ago, today they are separated into two distinct types – Mysticeti (baleen whales)…

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How did whales evolve?

Looking at a whale’s body and biology, there are plenty of clues that their ancestors lived on land. They breathe air and nurse their young with their own milk, they also have paddle-shaped flippers which encase hand bones with five ‘fingers’. As embryos, whales have tiny back limbs which disappear before birth. Hippos are the…

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What are the differences between whales, dolphins and porpoises?

Collectively, whales, dolphins and porpoises are known as cetaceans. Cetacean species are divided into two groups. (1) Baleen whales – these are the “great whales” and as their name suggests they all have baleen plates that are used to filter their food (which consists of plankton and small species of fish). (2) Toothed whales (otherwise…

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What is baleen?

There are 14 species of baleen whale including the blue, bowhead, right, humpback, minke and grey whale. Baleen whales are generally larger than toothed whales except for the sperm whale which is very big and has teeth. Many baleen whales migrate annually, travelling long distances between cold water feeding areas and warm water breeding areas.…

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How long do dolphins live?

Bottlenose dolphin with calf

Dolphins can live for a very long time and females tend to live longer than males. Female bottlenose dolphins have been known to live for more than 60 years and dolphins up to 48 years old have given birth. The oldest known dolphin is a bottlenose dolphin named Nicklo by researchers studying dolphins in Sarasota…

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How do dolphins give birth?

Dolphin pregnancies last between 10 months (harbour porpoise) and 18 months (orcas) depending on the species. Bottlenose dolphin pregnancies are somewhere in the middle lasting about 12 months, a little longer than human pregnancies which last 9 months. Dolphins give birth to a single baby; the baby is usually born tail first (unlike most mammals)…

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What is a group of dolphins called?

A group of dolphins is called a pod. Dolphins are social mammals that interact with one another, swim together, protect each other, and hunt for food as a team. Pod life plays a very important role in protecting dolphins from predators such as sharks. Most pods contain anywhere from 2 – 30 dolphins depending on the species and the situation, however there are occasions when pods gather…

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