Commerson's Dolphin: How this panda-colored dolphins live
When it comes to cetaceans, facts about their huge size and pictures where one fin is the size of a boat immediately pop up in my head. But the family is not without a dude who spoils all the statistics. Commerson's dolphin is an oreo water cookie the size of a normal human teenager.
"Commerson's Dolphins" by "Miguel Vieira" is licensed under CC by Attribution 2.0 Generic
These dolphins, although they mow under killer whales in black and white color, but they do not even pull on a baby whale-killer whales in adulthood reach only 150 centimeters, while a newborn killer whale is twice as large. And the smallest female of this species grew to only 136 cm in length and 23 kilos in weight. With these parameters, our hero deservedly gets the title of one of the smallest cetaceans on the planet!
The range of these spotted crumbs is divided into two camps. One part of the population lives off the east and west coasts of South America. The second part is located near the Kerguelen archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 8500 kilometers from its counterparts.
Over the years of isolated development, dolphins have become different even in appearance- Commercons from the shores of America are smaller and painted in contrasting black and white colors. Businessmen from India are larger by a couple of tens of centimeters and a kilogram, and instead of the company tailcoat they wear a skin of gray-spotted shades. For such differences, the Indians were named the subspecies C. C. kerguelenensis, after the islands of the archipelago where they live.
But all the Commersons have one family trait in common — gluttony. These crumbs consume up to 10% of their body weight in seafood every day, while their larger counterparts-bottlenose dolphins-only need 4-5% of the animal's body weight per day. Favorite treats of sea pandas are krill, squid, cuttlefish, crustaceans, various fish, and sometimes even seaweed.
Dolphins hunt fish in groups. To do this, they have two strategies. Strategy number one: drive and whitefish. The idea is to crowd the fish into shallow water, then catch them by jumping out of the water. Strategy number two: I twist and turn, I want to deceive the fish. A flock of dolphins, circling one after another, drives the school into a ring. Next, each of the hunters swim in turn to the center of the circle, while the others keep the fish inside.
Little is known about how dolphins connect to each other. Commersons live in groups of 2 to 30, or even 100 individuals. This run — up is a result of the extreme sociability of our characters with other species — other marine mammals are often found in Commerson's company.
Dolphin mating rituals are also poorly understood. It is only known that the breeding season falls from September to February, and pregnancy lasts about a year. Females bring to light large 6-kilogram babies of solid gray color.
The mother will protect and feed the cub with milk, however, the duration of this guardianship has not yet been studied. Maloy will become an adult by the age of 5-8. True, the life in the wild of these dolphins is short-rarely any of them celebrates 11 years. At the same time, in the dolphinarium, the oldest representative of the species did not live to be 26 years old.
At the moment, scientists have not established an official conservation status for Commerson's dolphins, because the number of individuals has not been reliably calculated yet. It is believed that the natural enemies of these dolphins are killer whales, sharks and sea leopards. However, there are no documented cases of the attack. Previously, people deliberately caught these specks for the sake of meat and fat, but now this is strictly prohibited. But every year 5-30 individuals still die at the hands of humans — they get tangled in nets and are extracted as by-catch along with fish.
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