Now, when the reconstruction of the Dolphinarium of the Lithuanian Sea Museum, which took six years, is over, the spaces of dolphins' home have considerably expanded. It is very important that it is equipped with a modern water treatment facility. The water, where dolphins live, is of irreproachable quality. The required quality is ensured by water treatment facility. Now dolphins feel more comfortably there as their living spaces have considerably expanded. Also, they can enjoy open air and sun in the outdoor pool "Sun bay". A new audio and video system installed in the hall will make dolphin shows more effective. Besides, the pool is encircled with acrylic wall, thus visitors can see the dolphins under water as well.
The Greeks called dolphins "sacred fish". In Rome, dolphins were thought to carry souls to the Islands of the Blessed. Images of dolphins were found in the hands of the Roman mummies presumably to ensure their safe passage to the afterlife. Famous philosophers such as Pliny, Herodotus, Aelian, and Aristotle comment on the compassion, friendly, and almost moral nature of the dolphin.
Dolphins are exceptional creatures. While most wild animals avoid contact with humans, wild dolphins are known to play and associate with humans, especially children. Young dolphins play around the boats and under surfboards and even help fisherman by signalling when it is the best time to cast their nets.
The Black Sea bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus ponticus) live in the Dolphinarium of the Lithuanian Sea Museum. The dolphin belongs to the class of mammals, the suborder of toothed whales. The species representing this suborder can mostly be found in the Black Sea.
The Black Sea bottlenose dolphins give birth to their young every four years; the pregnancy period lasts 12 months. Females give birth to their first calve at the age of seven or eight. Newborn bottlenose dolphins weigh from 11 to 12 kg and nurse from their mother. A grown-up dolphin weighs from 150 to 280 kg and very rarely - up to 360 kg.
In the middle of the 20th century, there were as many as ca 2.5 million dolphins in the Black Sea; nowadays, due to the pollution of the Black Sea, their number has decreased to 100,000. Dolphins' sonars fail to locate thin threads of fishing nets and millions of them die as a result of being accidentally caught in fishing gear and nets.
Dolphins shows are entertaining educational events that help people get to know these outstanding animals and encourage them to protect and cherish their natural environment, i.e. the sea.