Dolphins Give Birth Off South Africa Coast

BBC Earth


This post courtesy BBC Earth. For more wildlife news, find BBC Earth on Facebook and Posterous.

Christmas has come to mean many things to many people, but the holiday started as a celebration of new life. So we thought we’d celebrate new life in nature.

Around this time of year common dolphins of the coast of South Africa make an early new start, with a large number of calves being born. Although they give birth all year round, the female dolphins that don’t give birth in the summer sardine run use the huge food supply to build up reserves and calve in December. So to celebrate this abundance of new life, we’ve decided to share some of our favourite common dolphin videos and images with you.

The coast of South Africa hosts a massive number of common dolphins, around 20,000. They follow shoals of sardines, on which the newborns will be weaned in six months. These dolphins are sociable animals. Travelling in groups of around anywhere between ten and 50 individuals, they gather into huge schools that can number as large as 2,000.

When they do get together, they love to play, breaching, chin-slapping, tail-slapping and porpoising (constantly submerging and resurfacing).

They also love a form of ‘surfing’, known as bow-riding, where they swim or ride the crests of waves. Dolphin-watchers will know this behaviour, as it’s what dolphins do when they follow boats. One theory suggests it started when dolphins started following whales.

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.