Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Dolphin Calves This Autumn!
It’s a well known fact that many animals mate and reproduce in the spring. In fact, spring is the most popular season for dolphins to find their mates. With a 12 month pregnancy (aren’t you glad we only have a nine month pregnancy?), dolphins will not birth their calves until the following spring. What is not a popular known fact, even among lifelong Florida residents, is that dolphins have a second wave of mating in the fall! Dolphins that did not successfully mate in the spring will try again in the fall. This means we are now in the season to see dolphin calves without any annoying pollen! Read on to learn a bit more about dolphins and their calves, then check our schedule to see which one of dolphin tours works with you and your group!
Facts About Dolphin Pregnancy
Humans have been breeding dolphins in captivity for decades, so we understand quite a bit about their reproductive process. This means we have a better chance of predicting when we can see dolphin calves in the wild. Dolphins can and will become pregnant throughout the year, with the most popular times being spring and autumn. When you join our dolphin tours during these seasons, you are sure to see at least one dolphin calf swimming with his/her mother.
Did you know any of these dolphin pregnancy facts?
- Dolphins do not produce a bulge like a human mother because of the small size of their uteruses.
- Dolphins will wait 3 to 5 years before becoming pregnant again.
- Dolphins ovulate 2 to 7 times a year! Their cycles can last anywhere from 21 to 42 days.
Momma Dolphins, Their Babies, & Parenting Styles
One thing that you can see when you join one of our dolphin tours is how unique each dolphin mother is with her calf. Just like human mothers, each one has a unique parenting style. Some will keep their baby incredibly close, indicating they are a very protective mother. Others will allow their calf to go explore because of their more laid back, relaxed parenting style.
Dolphin calves are born tail first and around 3 to 4 feet in length. On average, they weigh 25 to 40 pounds when they are born. Typically much darker than their mothers, dolphin calves will swim in their mothers’ slipstream to limit how much energy they need to expend and to stay hidden from predators.
The first few weeks of a dolphin’s life is similar to a human baby’s first year of life. Dolphin calves learn echolocation over time, so they will often bear lifelong scars from running into objects until they hone their skills. Calves are born with “whiskers” that fall off just a few days after birth. These hairs are believed to help them find their mother so they can nurse. The calves will nurse for up to 2 to 4.5 years. The first few weeks of nursing will occur every 20 minutes 24 hours a day.
Best Dolphin Tours in Tampa Bay
Dolphin Quest is the best dolphin tour in the Tampa Bay area and across the entire Gulf of Mexico! We provide tours all year long, and we especially love taking our guests out during the autumn. It’s amazing to see a dolphin mother with her baby. The way the family swims and plays together is a sight to behold.
We create memories that last a lifetime. Dolphins are naturally curious creates, so it’s not too hard to capture pictures of dolphins coming up to the boat. Our dolphin tours are playful and fun. Along with beautiful dolphin calves jumping out of the water, you can see brown pelicans, bald eagles, manatees, fish, and many other Florida coastal creatures.
Our dolphin tours are conducted on a U.S. Coast Guard inspected and certified 40-foot boat, so you can rest assured you are on one of the safest vessels in the water. We depart up to four times a day, so you can see dolphin calves in the morning, afternoon, and evening! While we keep our eyes peeled for dolphin calves this autumn, take in the sights and sounds of the beautiful Florida beaches and coastline. Contact us to book the best dolphin tour in Tampa Bay now!