Are Dolphins Born With Fur?

Are dolphins born with fur?

My wife and I went on a dophin swim in the Bahamas last year and were told by the trainer that dolphins are born with fur. My wife works at a veterinary clinic and nobody believes her when she tells them this, and we cannot find any bit of information that says that they are or they aren’t.

Well, it depends on what you consider “fur.” As with all mammals, dolphins and porpoises do have hair, though scanty. I seem to recall that they have very short, fine hairs around the nipples and that’s about it.

Dolphins and porpoises belong to the Order Cetacea, along with the whales. Of all marine mammals, this group has made the most complete transition to aquatic life. Thus, several of the typical mammalian features are not going to be all that obvious.

I posed the question to the Education and Interpretation departments at the Shedd Aquarium, and here’s the early response:

“dolphins are born with some hair on their face but it depends on the species”

“Dolphins are mammals, and therefore possess fur/hair during some period of their lives. Typically, cetaceans lose all their fur in utero (i.e. before they are born). I think there have been occassions where newborn whales/dolphins have been born with scant and sparse patches of hair, but I think it usually falls off within days or weeks of the birth.”

So – Hair? Yes. Fur as we normally think of it? No.

“The dawn of a new era is felt and not measured.” Walter Lord