Dolphin of the Black Sea: name, photo
Everyone who rested on the Black Sea must have seen in the distance a flock of beautiful sea creatures or went to their shows at the dolphinarium. In our article we will discuss the Black Sea dolphins.
Black Sea Dolphin: what is the name?
Dolphin is the common name for marine life, of which there are many subspecies around the world. Their species composition in the Black Sea is not so big. The largest representatives are the Black Sea dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. They are also called ophaline, epheline, bottlenose dolphin or a mantle. All these are the names of the same creature that lives in the Black Sea.
The Dolphin of the Black Sea prefers to swim in the shelf zone of the (coastal) Black Sea, in the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, sometimes it enters the Sea of Azov. But this does not mean that he can not live in the depths. More small places the bottlenose dolphin prefers for the reason that it is characterized by the bottom way of searching for food. She can dive to a depth of one hundred meters, holding her breath for five to ten minutes.
Bottlenose dolphins tend to hunt in packs.In a day the Black Sea dolphin eats up to 15 kilograms of food. It can be a variety of fish, as well as octopus, shrimp, clams and other marine life.
The Black Sea Dolphin is the largest representative of this family. In length it reaches from two to three meters. The weight of an animal ranges from 150 to 280 kilograms. Females have more modest size, yielding 20 centimeters in length compared to males. Bottlenose dolphins, like whales, can make fountains, only streams of released water are much smaller than those of large counterparts.
Dolphins have a strong and massive body, a small head and a bulging forehead. Small eyes are located on the sides of the head, and strong teeth are conical. On the upper jaw there are from 15 to 28 pairs, and on the lower - 15-25. The bottlenose dolphins have a high dorsal fin, and the pectorals are wide and pointed. The upper body is gray or black in color, and the lower is white or light gray. Hearing and vision in animals are highly developed, but the sense of smell is completely absent.
Feeding the bottlenose dolphins
Dolphins live in small flocks. Every bottom fish comes into their diet. By a friendly company, bottlenose dolphins organize raids on shoals, but they do not even disdain shrimp if they get in the way.
The Dolphin of the Black Sea is a warm-blooded creature, and the ambient temperature undergoes significant fluctuations during the year. Therefore, the subcutaneous fat layer of the animal acts as a kind of heating. For this reason, the dolphin needs to eat well. The larger its size, the more it needs to eat. Some individuals eat up to thirty kilograms of food per day. Dolphins live more than thirty years.
The number of animals
Black Sea dolphins (photos are given in the article), unfortunately, have a small number. A huge number of them have been destroyed over the past century. Their catching at one time was so huge that it had no better effect on the population. The meat of animals was used for the manufacture of sausages, and the bones were ground and used as fertilizers, as well as in soap and medicine.
In the last decade, the dolphins of the Black Sea coast have reduced their numbers. Nearly 6 million individuals were destroyed. At present, the exact number of these beautiful creatures is unknown.
Even after the cessation of catching, the main danger to the bottlenose dolphins, as well as to other inhabitants of the sea, was environmental pollution.In addition, the increase in navigability was not the best. Dolphins often get into the net and get entangled in them, and they cannot get out of them on their own. Also harm is poaching.
No less detrimental effect man-made problem. Noise pollution from oil platforms, locators, ships and underwater explosions reduces their numbers. Bottlenose dolphins lose any orientation in space, as a result of which they are massively thrown onto the coast.
The Dolphin of the Black Sea prefers to keep in small flocks. As a rule, males are kept apart from the family of females with babies. Bottlenose dolphins are incredibly playful and can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour. While moving, the tail fin helps dolphins a lot. The animals have an incredibly developed vocal apparatus, which the bottlenose dolphins skillfully use when emitting amazing sounds: claps, clicks, whistles, etc.
An interesting fact is that animals sleep at the water surface, and automatically breathe out of the surface and at the same time do not even wake up.
Bottlenose dolphins are incredibly friendly and completely non-aggressive. They are very peaceful in meeting people.Dolphins love circling around the swimmers. There are cases when animals even save people in distress.
The Black Sea Dolphins of Crimea are not distinguished by their fecundity. Perhaps this is also one of the reasons for their scarcity. Females reach sexual maturity at 6 years, and males at 8. Babies appear in animals once every two years.
In the spring of the bottlenose dolphins the mating season begins. The males at this time are trying to appear in front of the females in all beauty. They perform a love song, jumping high out of the water. If there are several applicants for a lady of heart, then a struggle begins between them. Males can even chase each other.
When a couple has decided on sympathy, she withdraws. About a year later, their cub appears. At birth, its size reaches a meter, and weight - 10-12 kilograms. A baby is born under water, and after ten minutes with the help of a mother or other females it rises to the surface to take the first breath. At first, the cub swims near the mother, not sailing further than three meters. Only when he grows up will he be able to sail a little more distance.
Up to one and a half years, bottlenose dolphins feed their babies with milk. At four to six months, mothers give the first feed. Sometimes babies are punished if they do not obey. Growing up, the young ones frolic fun and jump out of the water, gradually they learn to communicate, to save themselves, to hunt.
Nature of animals
Bottlenose dolphins are lovely cute creatures that treat people well. No wonder that these dolphins are contained in numerous dolphinariums on the Black Sea coast. In captivity, they are perfectly trained and perfectly perform commands, demonstrating all sorts of tricks. Difficult to find a more sociable creature.
Dolphins love to imitate people by copying their movements and sounds. They are incredibly strongly attached to the person. If you keep such an animal in captivity, and then release it into the open sea, then the bottlenose dolphin will never swim away from this place. She will constantly come back.
The ability to train in a bottlenose dolphin is much higher than in dogs, but less than in monkeys. In dolphinariums, animals are taught to jump for food, to push a raft, to bring an abandoned thing, to jump over reiki or a hoop, to throw a ball into the net (like in basketball), etc.All these simple actions are easily given to bottlenose dolphins, thanks to which they have become popular in dolphinariums.
Ichthyologists (scientists) in the study of bottlenose dolphins came to the conclusion that they can emit a wide range of sound signals with which they communicate with each other in a flock. An analysis of their "conversations" showed that their alphabet consists of 17 sounds. Five of them are understood by other members of the family, for example, the grind and white-sided girls. But the other twelve sounds are truly unique, they are understood only by bottlenose dolphins. Trainers claim that animals communicate with people with the same sound combinations. You can easily believe this, given that the dolphins easily remember more than twenty teams and execute them.
This feature of the bottlenose dolphins as learning ability is used by people not only in dolphinariums. In some countries, naval units began to exploit dolphins as a kind of underwater "dogs." They help to carry out a variety of work under water: video surveillance, photographing military facilities and for the delivery of explosives to enemy ships.
Interesting facts about bottlenose dolphins
Bottlenose dolphins are very interesting and unusual creatures. Their brains are 300-400 grams more human. In adults, it reaches 1800 grams. In such parameters, there is a ratio of the proportions of the brain mass to the growth of the body, as in humans. In addition, like in humans, the dolphin brain has two hemispheres.
Dolphins can sleep. Only outwardly it is difficult to understand whether he is sleeping or awake. The fact that the animal is resting can be judged by the number of blinks per minute. Sleeping bottlenose dolphin does it 2-3 times per minute. During rest periods, only one hemisphere of the brain works for dolphins, and the second one is switched off at this time. An interesting fact is that after some time the hemispheres change places.
Black Sea Dolphin (Black Sea Bottlenose Dolphin): Red Book
As we have already mentioned, the number of dolphins is so small that they have been protected for a long time. That is why the Black Sea Dolphin enters the International Red Book.
The Red Book of Russia also contains a bottlenose dolphin in its lists. Dolphin catching has been banned in domestic waters since 1966. Scientists constantly carry out all sorts of activities aimed at finding out the number of these animals, as well as their habitats.To do this, use sensors that are attached to the fins of mammals. This allows researchers to learn the behavior and location of animals.
Every year, several Black Sea bottlenose dolphins are harvested for oceanariums and dolphinariums, but this is done exclusively by official permission. In no other cases, animal capture is impossible.
But, despite all these measures, the dolphins annually continue to die in the networks of poachers. In addition, shipping affects their numbers, because animals love to stay near the ships, which sometimes leads to negative consequences.