This is a key player in the dolphin's echolocation. Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins have 80-100 conically shaped teeth inside the rostrum - ideal for catching & ripping apart their fish!
Dolphins have rod & cone cells in their eyes to allow them to see in color. If their eyes are closed, they can still use their sense of echolocation!
Flippers help a dolphins turn, stop & steer. These are the only fins with bones. An x-ray would show condensed version of bones - like humans!
Made of a dense fibrous connective tissue, this fin helps stabilize dolphins as they swim through the water - like a keep on a sailboat!
Called the tail stalk, this muscle mass moves in an up & down motion to propel the dolphin - sometimes in short bursts up to 24 MPH!
Two fins with a notch in the middle make up the tail flukes, which propel dolphins through the water. These are 'fingerprints' as each dolphin has a unique pattern on their trailing edge. Winter does not need her tail flukes to swim. She uses the prosthetic tail flukes to build muscle in the peduncle.
At only three months of age, Winter found herself wrapped tightly in a crab trap line and was unable to escape.
She was rescued from Mosquito Lagoon (near Cape Canaveral) and transported to CMA to begin a long rehabilitation. Unfortunately, Winter lost her entire tail as well as two vertebrae a result of the serious injuries that she had sustained.
Although her story is intriguing, it is also very rare, as many dolphins unfortunately die in monofilament and crab trap lines. Despite the odds against survival, Winter's energy and ability to adapt to her new physical form has surpassed the expectations of many experts. Winter has done amazingly well in the short time since her stranding. She has completely healed, adapted to a new swim pattern, and learned to eat fish on her own...about twelve pounds a day! She is growing quickly, and now weighs in at 230 pounds!