A Look at the Portuguese World


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The wonder dolphins

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They are one of the most cherished species by humans.

There is an immediate empathy between humans and dolphins. Although they live in the ocean, they are not fish, they are mammals. They breathe through lungs and so are often sighted up to come to breathe. They have streamlined bodies that allows them to glide at high speed at sea in search of their preferred prey, are still covered with a thick layer of fat that keeps them warm when swimming in open water and at greater depths. Due to their social nature they create deep bounds with each other, so they live and hunt in groups, which may even reach hundreds of individuals.

Reproduction of this species is a complex process in which the male has to court the female, through physical permanent contact. "Dolphins are polygamous, but do not live in harems. The female often mates with more than one male at the same time. Among the dolphin, bottlenose dolphins, males are sexually mature at around 10 years, but frequently only mate after 15 years. The bridal parades can last several weeks, during which the males perform numerous acrobatic stunts. Then they fertilized females able to be inseminated and form the pairs. Desiring for caresses, dolphins rub on the pectoral fins of their partners. Next, the copulation only lasts 15-20 seconds and it’s done under water "according to the data provided by golhinhos.net page.

Gestation lasts in some species a year, which ends the female, gives birth to a little young with the help of a second dolphin that watches the whole process, so-called mentors, helping to move to the surface of the water for his first inspiration. During a period of about eighteen months, the baby is breast-fed at frequent intervals, while the mother teaches her techniques to search for food independently. The connection is so strong that lasts for life. Females are true warrior when it comes to protecting their offspring, when their main predator, the shark is around them, ht group swims really fast in a circle around them while the more experienced dolphins attack without pity, nor mercy. A defensive behavior, which also has saved many, lives at sea.

The dolphins hunt by echolocation. It is emitting a sound and echo through the water, allowing then to get a mental picture of the fish, or objects that are around. Their hearing is highly developed for that reason, since their vision is weak and can only see various shades of gray.There are 37 known species of dolphins in the world, however the most common in the Portuguese coast, are the bottlenose dolphin. The only resident colony is located in the Sado River, but is in danger of extinction; there is a great mortality among the young, due to growing pollution of the river. The common dolphin can also be spotted in the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores; there are several tour operators that carry outputs for watching these wonderful and highly intelligent aquatic animals.


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