5 Fun Facts About Baby Dolphins

Of all the marine creatures out there, dolphins tend to be some of the most fascinating to us humans. Humans and dolphins share a lot of characteristics, after all, and dolphins can be downright entertaining. If you’re headed out on one of our Myrtle Beach dolphin tours, you’re sure to learn a ton about these majestic creatures. But if you want to get a head start, check out some fun facts about baby dolphins!

1. THEY CAN’T BREATHE UNDERWATER

This first fact is arguably the most surprising: baby dolphins can’t breathe underwater! Even though dolphins are marine animals, they are also mammals, meaning they have lungs instead of gills. Baby dolphins can hold their breath for a quite a while, often up to 15 minutes at a time.

2. THEY’RE BORN TAIL-FIRST

Most mammals are born head-first. Not dolphins! Since baby dolphins are unable to breathe underwater, there’s a risk of drowning if they were to be born head-first. So, dolphins are actually born tail-first. Birth usually takes a couple of hours, not unlike other mammal species. Then, once they’re born, they can head up to the surface for their first breath of air.

 

3. BABY DOLPHINS LEARN TO SWIM BEFORE BIRTH

Humans don’t know how to walk as soon as they’re born, but baby dolphins are able to get around right away. In fact, they get practice learning how to swim before they’re even earthside! Scientists have found that baby dolphins can start practicing their swimming skills in their mothers’ wombs, sometimes as early as nine weeks gestation! And, since dolphins’ gestation periods last from nine to 12 months, babies have plenty of time to practice.

4. THEY USE THEIR TONGUES AS STRAWS

Another key trait of mammals is milk. Mammal mamas make milk for their babies to consume before they’re able to gather their own food or digest more complex foods. But since dolphins are underwater, how can a baby get its mother’s milk without the liquid floating out into the ocean? Baby dolphins can form a sort of straw with their tongues, allowing them to latch onto their mothers and transfer the milk directly into their mouths. Most baby dolphins drink mom’s milk for two or three years.

5. THEY’RE BORN HAIRY

If you’ve ever gotten to pet a dolphin, you probably know how soft and smooth their bodies are. But they don’t start out that way. When dolphins are born, they’re actually pretty hairy, especially around their jaw and snout. But, since dolphins don’t need that hair to keep them warm (like humans do), the hair will fall out not long after birth.

Now, once you head out on one of our eco cruises in Myrtle Beach, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family (and even your captain!) with your dolphin knowledge. To learn more about dolphins and get up close and personal with these incredible creatures, consider booking a dolphin tour with Blue Wave Adventures on your next trip to Myrtle Beach. Contact us today to learn more!

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