Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Brand New Sibling

Cayo cannot wait to be a big sister, again!
Echolocation is a sense that dolphins have that we as humans do not. Also known as bio sonar, dolphins can emit calls out to the environment and listen to the echoes of those calls. This creates a mental image in their head to locate and identify the objects. However, dolphins can also use it to see something similar to an x-ray.

Cayo displayed this to us during a Dolphin Encounter when she was paired up with her mom, Merina. The inquisitive six year old was more interested on scanning her momma’s belly than she was in taking part in a session. Whenever her mom was at the dock with her, Cayo was so interested in what was happening inside of Merina. Her attraction to Merina’s belly didn’t just stay at the dock though. While Merina did dorsal tows on her own, Cayo swam behind her and continued to echolocate on her tummy.

It was very interesting to see Cayo use her sense of echolocation and realize that her mom is with calf. When dolphins are pregnant, they do not get a bump around their midsections like we do. Instead they get bigger all around, making them simply look larger in whole. This is to prevent predators, like sharks, from attacking them in the wild since a pregnant dolphin could be easy prey.

Due in late October/early November, Merina is near the end of her pregnancy. She spends a lot of her time resting and does limited behaviors to ensure that the new little bundle of joy inside of her stays healthy. We’ve felt little baby dolphin tail flukes kicking inside of the mom-to-be and are so unbelievably excited to welcome the new addition to the DRC family in the Fall.