Dolphin Bay

  • Dolphin Bay is 4.5 hectares and includes seven interconnected resident pools and three interactive lagoons
  • This habitat holds more than 26 million litres of water and the finest quality silica sand imported from Saudi Arabia
  • The residents of Dolphin Bay are all Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus)
  • In the UAE we find Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, humpback dolphins and finless porpoises
  • This species can grow up to 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) long and weigh up to 230 kilograms (510 lb)
  • There are a total of 45 experienced marine mammal specialists who look after the Dolphin Bay family members
  • Generally, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are smaller than the common bottlenose and they have a proportionately longer rostrum, spots on their belly and lower sides. They also have more teeth than the common bottlenose dolphin — 23 to 29 teeth on each side of each jaw compared to 21 to 24 for the common bottlenose dolphin
  • All dolphins have teeth, but they don't chew their food, the main purpose of their teeth is to catch their prey and then swallow it whole. If their prey is too big they will use their teeth to shred it into smaller pieces which then allows them to swallow
  • The Dolphin Bay family’s wellbeing is monitored by an expert team who work with the dolphins to take daily water samples and blow hole swabs, as well as monthly blood samples and ultrasound scans
  • Dolphins love food so much that their stomach is compartmentalised! They have a total of three compartments, the first is a receiving chamber, the second does the chemical breakdown and the third regulates the flow of digested food into the intestine
  • On average, a member of the Dolphin Bay family consumes between 5-7 kg of fish per day
  • They are also carnivores and are not interested in greens
  • Unlike fish, dolphins swim by moving their tail up and down (rather than side to side) and can swim three times faster than humans – a speed of up to 25 miles per hour. That’s nearly as fast as Usain Bolt. Their tail is called a fluke
  • The average dolphin species can stay underwater for as long as eight to 10 minutes; some can remain submerged while holding their breath for 15 minutes.
  • The most little-known fact about dolphins is that the fun squeaks and whistles you hear do NOT come from their mouths – but from their blowholes! These blowholes also help them to breathe as they cannot do so through the mouth!
  • A group of dolphins is called a pod
  • Using a method based on land-centred parameters to measure intelligence may not be wholly accurate when evaluating the intelligence of a marine animal
  • Dolphins have very big brains! They have an absolute brain mass of 1,500-1,700 grams. This is slightly greater than that of humans (1,300-14,00 grams) and about four times that of chimpanzees (400 grams). Only one side of the dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time, this allows them to be able to breathe and to be able to be alert to threats even while they are resting
  • Dolphins lack the sense of smell and this was proven through the absence of olfactory bulbs and olfactory nerves in the brain
  • Although some bottlenose dolphins can reach 40 years of age, their average age is between 15 and 16 years. Forty is an old age for a dolphin – one making it to 40 is comparable to a human living to be 100
  • Dolphins are under threat worldwide, mainly human-generated threats. Two of the most significant issues are entanglement in fishing gear, nets and pollution. Dolphins often pursue the same fish species that commercial fishing ships are hunting and may get accidentally caught in their nets.