Did you know our oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface with majority of life on Earth being aquatic? Dolphins are among the top 5 smartest creatures in the ocean. As we celebrate Dolphin awareness in March, what better way to learn more about these fantastic mammals than to understand their behaviours and way of life.
Dolphins are part of the mammal family Delphinidae and have 42 different types of species. The most common dolphin found in South Africa are the bottlenose dolphin. Regarded as toothed whales, these creatures have conical teeth designed for catching fish or squid. Their brains are larger than the human brain and they host a complex group of neurons that lead to responsiveness and increased problem-solving skills. Bottlenose dolphins can grow up to 4 meters long with an average weight of 150 to 200kg. Their skin is smooth and rubbery to the touch, which helps with increasing their swimming efficiency.
Considered extremely friendly, dolphins live in pods of 2 to 15. They grow together and can create multifaceted connections with their group members. Dolphins produce several sounds including clicking, squeaking and whistles to communicate underwater, through echolocation which also allows them to navigate and hunt while being aware of their surroundings. These special sounds create high-frequency pulses that bounce off objects and create echoes as sound waves reflect off them. A dolphin will interpret the meaning through their nerve impulses.
Some fun facts about dolphins:
· When dolphins sleep, half of their brain stays awake which allows them to continue to breathe.
· Within a dolphin pod, it is common for other members to help care for any sick, old, or injured members.
· There are 5 species of dolphin that live in freshwater.
With 180-degree sea views on the sundecks at OceanDune Sibaya, you have the ideal spot to watch a pod of dolphins swimming along the oceans horizon or breaching waters while having a bit of fun. Along with brilliant views and convenient onsite amenities like fire pits and rooftop pools, OceanDune Sibaya provides an all-encompassing lifestyle that is ideal for those looking for everything on their doorstep.
Did you know that the ocean is home to over a million species and only 5% of the world’s oceans have been explored? But, from the species that we have discovered, there are a few that truly capture our attention at the seaside. There are around 90 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises, known collectively as “cetaceans”. As gentle giants of the sea, whales play an integral part of the ocean’s eco-system. These marine mammals help regulate the flow of food, maintaining a stable food chain while ensuring that other species do not overpopulate the ocean.
Whales are social creatures that travel in pods and use a variety of sounds and other behaviours to communicate with each other. High pitched sounds that bounce off underwater objects known as echolocation help whales speak to one another and assist in hunting and navigation. These sounds are created through vocal calls or the slapping of surface water. As close-knit families that live in pods, whales often hunt and socialise together, often found singing as they make their way through deep waters.
During the winter months, whale sightings are common off the shores of KwaZulu-Natal. To escape the bitter cold of Northern waters, these mammals migrate to the South giving us sight into their behaviour and patterns.
Whale watching during the months between July and September are the ideal time to spot them over the horizon. If you plan on spending some time at the seaside, ensure you watch out for these 3 whale behaviours:
With the perfect location, OceanDune offers 180-degree sea views that give you the perfect opportunity to witness these mystic creatures as they pass through the warm Indian Ocean.