How long do dolphins live?
When it comes to marine animals, rarely any other animal has such popularity as dolphins. These mammals that belong to the Cetacea order are often viewed as a symbol of love, friendship, and kindness.
Dolphins can be found in almost every ocean and sea in the world. The only exceptions are the Antarctic and the Arctic Ocean. What is interesting is that there are dolphins that live in rivers too like the Pink Dolphin that can be found in the Amazon River. While we are talking about species, it is worth mentioning that there are more than 40 dolphin species today, after 40 million years of existence.
Surprising facts about dolphins
In many cases, scientists claim that dolphins are the most intelligent animals on our planet. What is interesting about these animals is their social behavior, because they are known as very social animals. It is not unusual to find a pod with 12 dolphins, although there were cases when up to 1000 dolphins were spotted but these gatherings are only temporary when they find a rich source of food. Dolphins have sophisticated communication and they use special sounds to communicate. They also use posturing and touch as a way of communication. Dolphins know how to use some tools and they pass their knowledge to their young. As you probably know, their altruism goes beyond their own species, and there are numerous cases in which dolphins have helped injured people. They are also fond of playing with humans.
One of the most difficult questions related to these animals is how long do they live. The reason why this question is difficult is simple – there are more than 40 species of dolphins in the world.
So, for instance, killer whales, which despite their name are actually dolphins, have an average lifespan of 29 years, although they can reach 50 years in captivity. Furthermore, pantropical spotted dolphins live 40 years, short-finned pilot whales live 45 years, hector’s dolphins live between 15 and 20 years and striped dolphins live up to 60 years.
Truth is that the environment, social interactions, and diet have a huge impact on their lifespan. What is interesting is that unlike many other animals, dolphins that live in captivity often live shorter lives than those found in the wild. There are few reasons for this. First of all, they receive food that is usually prepared in a way in which they don’t consume it naturally. This food also doesn’t include the nutrients they find in oceans, rivers, and seas. Furthermore, it was proven that the separation from the ocean and rivers can cause dolphins to experience many health issues, reducing their lifespan. Finally, since dolphins are very social beings, lack of social structure can make them depressed and make their lifespan shorter.
On the other hand, when they are out in the wild, they have both human threats and natural threats. Humans pollute waters and hunt them. On the other hand, dolphins have to deal with few natural predators too like sharks and other dolphins.