We're expecting!

Published June 12, 2008

Chesapeake, one of the Aquarium\'s pregnant dolphins, has an ultrasound every month or so.The National Aquarium in Baltimore is proud to announce the pregnancy of two bottlenose dolphins! Chesapeake and Shiloh are both expected to give birth in August. Director of Animal Health Leigh Clayton works closely with the Marine Mammal team to manage the well being of the dolphins at the Aquarium. Leigh and her staff utilize ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy in dolphins. Blood hormone values (specifically progesterone) are also measured routinely and are often the first indication that an animal may be pregnant. An Aquarium staff member performs an ultrasound on a pregnant dolphin.However, progesterone levels also increase during ovulation and may remain elevated for weeks after a normal ovulation. In addition, pseudopregnancy is possible in dolphins and hormone levels may remain elevated as if the animal is pregnant, but no fetus is present. Ultrasound is the only way to reliably confirm pregnancy. The gestational sac can be visualized as early as 4 weeks after conception and fetal heartbeat and skeletal structures can be seen as early as 6 weeks, though in our setting these are more typically seen at 8 weeks. When a pregnancy is suspected, the veterinarians and trainers work together to obtain ultrasound exams on the animals every 1-2 weeks. Please continue visiting WaterLog for the latest updates from the Marine Mammal team as the Aquarium prepares for the births of two calves!
Previous Post

Featured Stories

phil-release-on-beach Animal Rescue Update: Phil’s Release!

Phil was successfully rehabilitated and returned to the ocean!

Read the full story

beach-shore-dunes How to Be an Environmentally Responsible Beach Visitor

Show your appreciation for our coastal areas by being an environmentally responsible beach visitor, this Memorial Day weekend and beyond!

Read the full story

Related Stories

Birds of Baltimore and the Bay

Published June 21, 2017

All About Moon Jellies!

Published June 16, 2017