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Saturday, July 18, 2009
Today's post features the Bottlenose Dolphins that some friends recently encountered while out snorkeling.
These playful creatures are intelligent and known for their friendly dispostion and agility. In one of the photos, the dolphin is "catching" a floating leaf on it's fin, and also swimming with the leaf on its nose.
My friends were dropping the leaves for them to play with. They did not approach or follow this pod as people are not supposed to get close to the dolphins, as tempting as it may be.
They live in social groups called pods. A pod can vary in size, 5 to 100 dolphins in the group. Dolphins communicate through a complicated series of squeaks and whistles.
The dolphins enjoy bow-swimming with boats, playing in the wake and waves. I have seen them many times racing around along side the boat and trying to keep in front of it as well. It's a wonderful site, these playful creatures diving and leaping along side the boat.
The dolphins can swim up to 18 miles per hour. Their size is up to 10 feet in length and weight is approx. 1,100 #. The Bottlenose Dolphin's life span is 45-50 years.
They eat small fish and squid, and sometimes follow fishing boats looking for leftovers. The dolphin's greatest danger is getting entangled in fishing nets and gear, and boating traffic.
Many programs and organizations work tirelessly to protect these wonderful creatures. The Pacific Whale Foundation is one great organization that promotes awareness of the ocean's creatures through education.
Enjoy the photos, I sure did!
Aloha for now,