Bottlenose Dolphin reproduction by Bella Hodgson
Dolphins live underwater. They are very similar to sharks only they go where the warmth is whilst sharks go where the cool weather is. Bottlenose dolphins can live in both open and coastal waters. Dolphins have adapted to open oceans and coastal waters they have become smaller in size in coastal and larger out at sea. They also have different characteristics and skill sets to match there habitat. Dolphins have been oposed to many threats over the past10 years. Including less fish from fishing boats, plastic rubbish thrown into the sea for the dolphins to get caught in and hunting they are wanted for their fins and meat.
To begin mating, the male will rub his sex organs on the females for several minutes. This process would be called a "standard" mammalian courtship. it is internal fertilization. The male dolphin will release thousands of gametes into a female but like humans dolphins only have one baby at a time however they are capable of having twins. Only one male gamete will fertilize one egg. Females are pregnant for 11-12 months. A bottlenose dolphin is a viviparity mother and their calves are k-selection. The eggs are fertilized internallyt, the calves are born alive, few offsprings can be produced and they have a long life expectancy.
Dolphins have sex for fun, like humans. They also have a midwife, a female and sometimes male dolphin that assists with the birth. After birth, the newborn is sometimes assisted to the surface to take its first breath. They are cross-fertilization.
The baby develops internally. Giving birth out in the open ocean can be quite hard One of the dolphin's primary enemies, the shark, will inevitably move in on a female giving birth; it can smell the blood a mile away. A pod of dolphins will form a circle around the new mother to ward off attacks until the birth is complete.
When a dolphin is first born, the first act it will try to do is feed off it's mothers milk. The sacs they are able to get the milk from is located under the belly of the mother. Baby dolphins are forced to feed as quickly as possible, so they can quickly surface and take a breath! Dolphins have had to adapt to being under those conditions and be as quick as possible, so the baby does not die. Because dolphins can't actually latch onto the mother, like human infants, female dolphins have evolved to squirt the milk directly into the baby's mouth when they go to latch on.
The mother will take care of her baby until the baby reaches the age of 2 years to up to 8 depending on if it is male or female. Females mature at the age of 7-12 years of age while males can mature at the age of 10-15 but males will leave their mothers early
dolphins are known to engage with each other sexually, and they are credited
with having strong homosocial bonds. Bottlenose dolphins have been found to trail females for weeks, until they become active again. But unsettlingly, bottlenose dolphins have also been shown to engage in "forced sex" with unwilling females.
Parental care- Mothers will stay with their babies until they mature which can vary. The mother will stay with her group and the baby will need to keep up if it has a disability the baby will be left to fend for itself.
Embryo of dolphin
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