THE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN
The most frequently seen dolphins in Jersey waters is the Bottlenose dolphin. Apparently there is estimate of 100 individual bottlenose dolphins that inhabit Jersey waters. Individuals can be seen either on their own or in groups of upto approx 40, sometimes with young. They are very sociable creatures and mostly live in groups known as a pod.
Bottlenose dolphins general colour is dark to medium grey on their backs fading to a lighter grey with white on their bellies and on the bottom of their jaw and grow to the length of approx 12-13ft in length. Male dolphins are bigger than the females.
The Dorsal fin
Researches rely on a variety of ID Techniques for identifying dolphins. Photographing the dorsal fin as the dolphin surfaces to take its breathe is called photo ID as the dorsal fin is alot like a fingerprint of that to a human. Scars and nicks, notches in a dolphins dorsal fin along the edge allows researches to categorize and recognise each individual.
Dolphins have small conical pointed teeth but do not chew their food. They use their teeth to catch their prey by grasping it then swallowing it whole. Dolphins have approx 88 - 100 teeth on each jaw.
The Bottlenose dolphins diet consists of mackeral, bass, garfish, squid and sand eels and consume between approx 15-33lbs per day.
The Blowhole - nostril
Bottlenose dolphins can be quite aggressive particularly the males. They have been known to fight so violently that there has been fatal results, some are lucky enough to escape . Even juveniles that arent their own fall victim as well as other species of dolphins and porpoises.
Males have two separate slits, the longer slit is the genital area and the smaller slit is the anus.
The females longer slit is where the sexual organs are. The two tiny slits either side are the mammary glands for nursing, these will produce milk when the female is reproductively mature. Towards the dolphins posterior (to left of the longer slit) is the anus.
POSSIBLE NEONATE FOLDS
Lines on their sides, these are referred to as "Neonate folds", neonatal stripes or foetal folds " which is caused by the way the calf was curled up or folded in the mothers womb. Calves are born tail first and as soon as they are born, the mother helps them to the surface to take their first breath.
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