New BBC documentary tells more about these intelligent and wonderful creatures.
A romantic courtship
Courting males will spend hours looking for the longest and most perfect strand of seaweed to present to the objects of their desire. Before handing it over, a hot-blooded dolphin will use the seaweed to show off his prowess: tossing it between his fins, tail and nose.
If the female likes what she sees, she will accept the seaweed - and then drape and play with it seductively like a feather boa. Now they are an item, the amorous pair will do the dolphin equivalent of cuddling - stroking each other with their fins - as they twist and spin around each other.
Despite the elaborate foreplay, which can last over an hour, the act of love itself does not take long - around three seconds. Females are not one-man-girls either. During the mating season, they can be seduced several times a day by different members of the same pod of young males. When sex happens, it’s more like shaking hands - and afterwards the pair will go their separate ways.
A year later, baby arrives after a labour that can last several hours. So newborns are born tail-first to stay attached to their mother’s oxygen supply - via the umbilical cord - as long as possible. As soon as the cord snaps, the babies - around 90cm long - are guided by their mums to the surface so they can take their first gulp of air.
The dolphin calves have stripes, like a baby’s wrinkles, from their time curled up in the womb, which fade after two weeks. Like a human mother, dolphins lovingly stroke their infants using their fins in a version of a cuddle. They also talk to their offspring constantly so babies learn to recognise their voices and find them when visibility in the water is poor.
Just as human babies babble to learn how to speak, young dolphins also practise by whistling and clicking. They make these noises by adjusting the size of their blowholes as they force air out.
Every dolphin has its own signature whistle, which is used like a name to call one another. But while we humans decide on our children’s names, dolphin babies name themselves - by practising and deciding which noises they like best.
Like human babies, dolphins use their mouths to explore everything, gently using their lips and tongue to explore the textures of any object the come across. Similar to magpies, they also collect shiny stones and shells like trinkets, which they love offering to each other as gifts. They are also known to collect sponges and balance them on their noses.
Boys will be boys
They love to surf the huge waves at the bow of oil tankers, going up to speeds of 30mph. It’s like playing chicken for them because they could bash into the sides. Unlike most animals, much of what they do is simply for fun.
Best Friends Forever - including 'bromance'
Males and females spend most of their lives apart, living in single-sex pods of around 30 animals. Within these groups, most dolphins have a best friend - and they stick together all their lives, through thick and thin.
The best mate of a female dolphin will act like a sort of midwife when her friend gives birth, protecting her from danger. The pair will also be like aunties to each other’s offspring, helping to raise them and forming a baby-sitting circle with the rest of the females.
Young males also have lifelong best friends. Rob says: ‘They will go on the pull for females together, look for fun things to do and watch each other’s backs in times of danger. It’s a real bromance.’
Grumpy old men
When they are young, male dolphins move in packs and behave like any gang of young human males - racing each other, being boisterous and going on the hunt for young females. But after a few years, the older, more experienced ones tend to break off on their own for some peace and quiet.
Dolphins have a life-span of around 30 years - and by the age of 20 male dolphins may feel like they are getting too old for it all. It’s as if they’ve enough of all the rough-housing and take life a bit easier. They get like grumpy old men.’
Looks are important - They exfoliate daily
There is a good reason why dolphins have such perfect skin - they exfoliate. While other marine creatures rely on barnacles and sucker fish to do the job, dolphins stay stream-lined by using coral to scrub themselves. Incredibly, they shed a complete coating of skin every three hours. To help the process, they can often be seen queuing up to rub themselves along a favourite area of coral. It's the equivalent of a spa.
Read more - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2519711/How-dolphins-say-I-love-bouquet-seaweed-Theyre-pushy-parents-make-best-friends-life--exfoliate-day.html
Japan is not only perpetrating ecocide of the Pacific Ocean by dumping huge amounts of highly radioactive waste from Fukushima, which affects all sea creatures, but they also engage in the wanton murder of hundreds of thousands of dolphins.
Three minute video of Japanese murdering dolphins trapped at the cove.
Watch entire film THE COVE online.
It shows a spot on the coast of Japan where they corral the dolphins and slaughter them, turning the water red with their blood.http://www.thecovemovie.com/
More on the slaughter of dolphins
Japanese create theme park where visitors can swim with dolphins and then eat them
The ongoing ecocide perpetrated by the Japanese nuclear power plant FUKUSHIMA