When boating in the Indian River Lagoon, one animal you are likely to see is the bottlenose dolphin. With around 800 bottlenose dolphins swimming around the Indian River Lagoon, they are one of the most beautiful and famous animals in the sea. Here are some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about bottlenose dolphins.
They are well behaved
Teamwork and patience are important traits for the bottlenose dolphin. Often they will work together when hunting for fish surrounding and corralling the fish while one of the dolphins eats in the middle. The group then takes turns feasting on their dinner. Bottlenose dolphins eat 15-30 pounds of small fish, squid, and crustaceans per day.
They don’t chew their food
Unlike humans, dolphins don’t chew their food. They also swallow the fish starting with the head so they don’t harm themselves on the fish’s scales or spine.
They have great eyesight
Whether it’s in the water or out of the water, bottlenose dolphins have great eyesight. Coincidentally their cousins, the Amazon River dolphins, have bad eyesight and rely on echolocation to navigate around the waters.
They have issues avoiding others
Bottlenose dolphins travel in groups called pods and will occasionally bump into each other in mid-air. This can cause serious injury or potentially death to the animal.
They give birth quickly
Bottlenose dolphins only spend between 20 minutes and two hours in labor.
They kill their food with their tail
Bottlenose dolphins kill their food with their tails to prepare their meal. In a feeding strategy called “fish whacking” the dolphins flick their prey high in the air with their tails to stun or kill the fish. Then they simply swim over and eat the lifeless prey.
Inexperienced parents have trouble
One way dolphins are similar to humans is that having a calf too young can cause problems. When young teenage dolphins have calves, they sometimes have trouble caring for their young.
Determining their age
Similar to counting the rings on a tree to tell its age, you can tell approximately how old a dolphin is by examining its layers of teeth.
If you want to see these beautiful creatures in person, come rent a boat from 321 Boat Club and explore the Indian River Lagoon where you’re bound to run into some bottlenose dolphins among other sea life.