Worldwide, calves room born throughout the year.Birthing season is dependent on geographical location. Births may take place in every seasons, yet typically peaks occur throughout spring, beforehand summer and also fall.

You are watching: How long do dolphins stay with their mothers

Seasonal calving peaks differ by area.

Dolphin births off the shore of Sarasota, Florida happen in late feather to early summer. A secondary peak wake up in early on autumn. In waters follow me the main U.S. Atlantic coast, the lengthy calving season mirrors a spring peak. Peak calving because that dolphins in Florida"s Indian river Lagoon occurs in April and also August. Many dolphin births along seaside Texas waters happen in March. Bottlenose dolphins in the Pacific ocean along the shore of southerly California have displayed a calving peak in the fall. In Patagonia and South Africa, births optimal in summer.

Frequency the birth

A mrs dolphin can potentially be affected by each other a calf every 2 years, but calving intervals generally average 3 years. Bottlenose dolphins have a 3 to six years calf interval in Sarasota Bay, Florida.



Calves room born in the water. Deliveries room usually tail-first, however head-first deliveries are additionally seen. The umbilical cord snaps throughout delivery.

Sometimes one assisting dolphin may stay close come the brand-new mother and also calf. Although this assisting dolphin regularly is described as one "auntie" dolphin, it may be masculine or female. This auntie dolphin is frequently the just other dolphin a mother enables near she calf.


Calf at Birth

Calves are roughly 111 to 116.3 cm (43.7 to 45.7 in.) long and also weigh around 10 come 20 kg (22 to 44 lbs.).

In the first few days ~ birth, the calf"s dorsal fin and also tail flukes are pliable and also lack firmness, but gradually stiffen.

Calves, darker than adults, show several vertical, irradiate lines on their sides, a an outcome of fetal folding. This lines disappear within 6 months.


Care of Young


A calf might nurse for approximately 18 to 24 months. The preferably nursing period observed was seven years in Sarasota Bay, Florida, and may offer as a bonding activity. Calves nurse listed below water, close to the surface. The calf suckles indigenous nipples concealed in abdominal muscle mammary slits.

Observations in zoological parks display that nursing usually starts within 6 hours of birth. A calf nurses as often as 4 times every hour because that the first 4 to 8 days.

Each nursing circumstances usually lasts only around 5 come 10 seconds. A calf registered nurses 3 to 8 times every hour transparent the day and night.

Milk is created of 33% fat, 6.8% protein, and 58% water, through traces that lactose. The wealthy milk helps the infant rapidly construct a special blubber layer.


In caring for her calf, a mom dolphin remains close by and also attentively directs the calf"s movements.

The calf is lugged in the mother"s "slipstream," the hydrodynamic wake that creates as the mother swims. This help the baby swim and allows the mother and calf to remain up with the group.

There is more than likely a considerable amount the learning affiliated in mothering.

Calf Development

Bottlenose dolphin reproduction colonies in maritime zoological parks proceed to carry out a unique opportunity to observe and also quantify dolphin reproductive biology.

In zoological environments, calves begin to take it a couple of fish at around 3 to 4 months once their teeth start to erupt. Calves begin to eat fish as soon as they reach about 130 to 150 centimeter (51 come 59 in.).

Within a few days of bear a calf deserve to vocalize, yet signature characteristics develop with age.

Mother-calf bonds room long-lasting; a calf typically stays v its mother 3 come 6 years.The dependency period of calves in zoological framework is much shorter because the pets are not delicate to predation, perform not have to learn foraging techniques, and are fine fed.

See more: Does Cotton Shrink In Cold Water Shrink Clothes? (Helpful Guide)


Births in ~ and Discovery Cove has one that the most successful reproduction programs because that bottlenose dolphin in the world. More than 85% of the bottlenose dolphin calves at were born at among the parks or at exploration Cove.

because 2003, many of the bottlenose dolphin calves born in ~ are the result of artificial insemination techniques. Artificial insemination helps keep their dolphins" hereditary diversity without having actually to relocate them from park come park. In 2005, the world"s very first sex-selected bottlenose dolphin was born at mountain Diego. This to be the an initial time researcher were may be to select the sex of any form of zoological species prior to conception with the use of synthetic insemination technologies. This scientific breakthrough affords zoological institutions about the globe the chance to manage their species" genetic diversity. The techniques and knowledge gained from this development can be applied to various other cetaceans, mammals and also terrestrial animals in the wild, including endangered species.