Growing Up as a Dolphin


The dolphin is one of the most intelligent and playful creatures found in the ocean. Dolphins are incredibly social creatures and often form tight-knit communities with other dolphins. They are also incredibly agile, able to swim up to 30 mph. But what’s life like for a dolphin as it grows up?


Dolphins are born tail first in shallow water, usually in a protected bay or lagoon. The mother dolphin will sometimes be accompanied by other dolphins in the group to help protect the newborn. The calf is able to swim almost immediately after birth and will be guided by its mother to the surface to breathe. Dolphins are born with a bluish-gray coloring, which darkens as they age.


Dolphins are highly social creatures and need to be around other dolphins to survive and thrive. As a calf grows, it will start to form relationships with other dolphins in its group. It will learn social cues, communication, and behavior from other dolphins in the group. Dolphins often play together as a way to strengthen their bonds and learn about their environment.

Feeding and Diet

Dolphins are carnivores and feed mainly on fish, squid, and crustaceans. Dolphins use echolocation to locate their prey and then use their powerful tails to capture it. As calves grow, they will start to learn from other dolphins in their group how to hunt, what types of prey to look for, and how to use their echolocation. Dolphins will also often work together to herd fish and other prey for easier capture.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of dolphins can vary depending on the species, but they usually live to be between 40 and 50 years old. Dolphins in captivity can have a much longer lifespan, with some living up to 80 years. Regardless, dolphins who live in the wild are vulnerable to natural predation, human activities, and other threats, so their lifespans can be shortened.

Social Structures

Dolphins often form social structures to provide protection and stability for their group. These structures are usually made up of family pods and superpods. Dolphins will stay in their family pods for the majority of their lives, only joining with other pods during mating season. Superpods are made up of dozens, if not hundreds, of dolphins that come together for a short period of time before they break apart and return to their family pods.


Dolphins are incredible creatures that are full of life and joy. They live in tight-knit family pods and socialize with other dolphins to form strong bonds. They are intelligent and agile and use their echolocation to hunt for prey. As dolphins grow up, they will learn about the world around them and form important social and behavioral bonds with their peers.

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