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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DOLPHINS

  • Nearly 40 species of dolphins swim the waters of the world. Most live in shallow areas of tropical and temperate oceans, and five species live in rivers.
  • Dolphins are carnivores. Fish, squid and crustaceans are included in their list of prey. A 260-pound dolphin eats about 33 pounds of fish a day.
  • Known for their playful behavior, dolphins are highly intelligent. They are as smart as apes, and the evolution of their larger brains is surprisingly similar to humans.
  • Dolphins are part of the family of whales that includes orcas and pilot whales. Killer whales are actually dolphins.

  • Dolphins are very social, living in groups that hunt and even play together. Large pods of dolphins can have 1,000 members or more.
  • Depending on the species, gestation takes nine to 17 months. After birth, dolphins are surprisingly maternal. They have been observed nestling and cuddling their young.
  • A dolphin calf nurses for up to two years. Calves stay with the mothers anywhere from three to eight years.
  • Dolphins have acute eyesight both in and out of the water. They hear frequencies 10 times the upper limit of adult humans. Their sense of touch is well-developed, but they have no sense of smell.
  • Dolphins have few natural enemies. Humans are their main threat. Pollution, fishing and hunting mean some dolphin species have an uncertain future. In 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin was named functionally extinct.
  • Because dolphins are mammals, they need to come to the surface of the water to breathe. Unlike land mammals that breathe and eat through their mouths, dolphins have separate holes for each task. Dolphins eat through their mouths and breathe through their blowholes. This prevents the dolphin from sucking up water into the lungs when hunting, reducing the risk of drowning.
  • It has been proved by scientists that dolphins give themselves names. They develop their own individual whistles and they recognize theirs and other dolphins’ names.
  • When they are asleep, one part of their brain remains alert and awake. This keeps them safe from potential predators, and enables them to breathe while sleeping.
  • Killer whales are the biggest kind of dolphins. Opposite to their name, Killer Whales belong to the dolphin family. Killer Whales, reaching up to a length of 30 feet, are the biggest of their kind.
  • Not known to many, Dolphins can migrate if their needs of food are not met. Even though they are not migratory animals, they will move to places where they have enough food and the climatic conditions are suitable to their body temperatures.
  • Dolphins have very delicate skin, getting injured at the slightest touch of hard surface. However, due to their fast healing attribute, even the deepest of wounds can be healed within a short time.
  • They can swim at the rate of 3 to 7 miles per hour. Some exceed that and travel at the speed of 20 miles per hour.