Most people travel to different countries to see the beautiful sight of a dolphin in it’s natural environment. But many people in the UK are not aware that you can see these beautiful creatures just off the Welsh coast.
Once you have your transport and accommodation sorted (and for a combination of the two take a look at https://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/motorhomes/articles/general/parking-your-motorhome-in-wales ), the next most important thing is to figure out what you are going to do and what better way to spend your time on the coast that sight-seeing for Dolphins. This takes some patience but is an incredibly rewarding sight.
Bottle-nosed dolphins are highly intelligent mammals and incredibly friendly and playful. Their sociability is also shown in the fact that they live in large groups which can be made up of same sex or mixed sex individuals. Their very survival relies on their ability to interact well with one another. They work together to hunt, give birth and raise their young and tend to one another when they are sick.
Dolphins are very playful, and they can often be seen rubbing up against each other and picking up small rocks or coral from the seabed and deliberately dropping it to watch it fall. This further confirms their intelligent nature. They often jump out of the water to look for the location of seabirds as this help to identify where the shoals of fish can be found.
Some interesting facts about these creatures include:
- They are born with only one set of teeth to last them their entire lifetime
- The females breathe whilst sleeping by lying on the water surface, but the males sleep under the surface and momentarily ‘bob’ up to the surface occasionally to breath as a reflex action.
- Dolphins hunt fish in an organised manner, pushing the shoals into a dense mass causing the fish to become confused and try to escape.
- A female pregnancy lasts for 10-12 months
- When delivering the baby a mother will be surrounded by a number of ‘midwife’ dolphins to help protect both her and her new-born from predator attacks.
- A dolphin can live for up to 50 years.
- They use echo-location as a means of communication.
Dolphin and humans have come into conflict for the same fish food source and numerous dolphins have been caught and died in fisherman’s nets. Some dolphins have also become beached on coastline. It is thought that this may be due to their echo-location being upset by ships depth sounders, causing them to become confused about their surroundings and then their distress calls draw other dolphins to them.
Although we are continually learning about these animals there is still much about their life we do not understand. Despite this a dolphin sighting is definitely something to add to your to do list.