Our long-term study has revealed:
- The months of October – December are the peak birth months, occuring just before the peak in surface water temperature. (Figure 1)
- Females give birth to their first calf at ages 12-15. However, a few females, such as a dolphin named “Peglet”, have given birth to their first calves at the age of 11.
- Interbirth intervals for surviving calves range between 3- 8 years. Interbirth intervals of 4 years were most typical. (Figure 5)
- One third of all females studied have not calved successfully in a 10 year period. Reproductive success was defined as the number of calves surviving to 3 years old within a ten year period. (Figure 6)
Results and figures taken from: Mann, J., Connor, R.C., Barre, L.M. & Heithaus, M.R. 2000. Female reproductive success in wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.): Life history, habitat, provisioning, and group size effects. Behavioral Ecology, 11:210-219.