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Dolphin Stranding In Texas—Facts About Bottlenose Dolphin

 

Here in Texas, there has been a large stranding of Bottlenose Dolphins in Jefferson County and Galveston County beaches.

21 dolphins have been found in the last two days.

Here is a report on the stranding from the Galveston County Daily News.

Here is a report from the Houston Chronicle.

Another large stranding took place around this time last year.

This may prove to be the beginning of a large die-off of dolphins this year.

Some will claim this proves that Texas beaches are dirty.

As much I enjoy visiting Galveston, this claim may have merit.

From a leading guide to marine mammals–

Major die-offs of these dolphins along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts have been linked to viral outbreaks and acute exposure to toxins. There is speculation that heavy burdens of pollutants have weakened their immune systems.    

The Bottlenose Dolphin is a common dolphin in the world.

Here are some facts and information about these creatures.

The Guide To Marine Mammals of the World published by the National Audubon Society reports that–

“This is the archetypal dolphin, well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans because of its common seashore presence throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Today it has achieved world-wide exposure as the start of the television series Flipper and as the main attraction in many oceanariums.”

Also—

“This dolphin is a cosmopolitan species that occurs in oceans and peripheral seas and tropical and temperate latitudes. It occupies a wide variety of habitats and is regarded as perhaps the most most adaptable cetacean….

Don’t you wish some people were as flexible and as adaptable as these dolphins? 

Common Bottlenose Dolphins occur in groups that vary greatly in size…animals in bays from smaller groups ( 2 to 15..) than those offshore ( often tens or hundreds.) Composition and stability of these groups often varies. bands of related females may stay together for many years, during which time they are visited briefly and occasionally by adult males.”

“Pair bonds between adult males have been documented to last 20 years or longer.”

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“In Scotland’s Moray Firth, Bottlenose Dolphins have been seen chasing, butting, and propelling Harbor Porpoises clear out of the water. Sharks are significant natural predators of Bottlenose Dolphins and it is not unusual to see wounds or scars attributed to shark bites on the bodies of living dolphins.”

The Bottlenose Dolphin can live up to 50 years. Male Bottlenose range from 8 to 12 feet long and can weigh up to 1100 pounds. Females are 8 to 10 feet long and reach 570 pounds.

Here is more information on the Bottlenose Dolphin from the excellent webpage of the American Cetacean Society

Here is information on the Harbor Porpoise.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on sea life and marine mammals.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts about Galveston

(Here is a photo of a Bottlenose Dolphin killing a Harbor Porpoise in Scotland. Now how cute and nice do you think they are?)

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Books, Galveston, Sea Life, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments