Facts about Dolphins

How much do you really know about dolphins? Perhaps with these great facts, you will have more knowledge than you did before. There is much more to them than just being smart and great swimmers!

  • The only known mammal to have their young born tail first, is the dolphin. The tail is referred to as the fluke.
  • Dolphins have very poor sense of smell.
  • Mothers will take care of their offspring for a period of 2 or 3 years.
  • Most dolphins have two stomachs, similar to a cow. One allows them to store food and the other allows them to digest it. Those that only have one stomach have a divider of three parts.
  • Some dolphins dive 1,000 feet.
  • Ever dorsal fin on a dolphin is unique in shape and size. In observations, that has been used to help identify them from each other.Long-beaked common dolphin
  • They can swim well, up to 25 miles per hour. This means they swim about 3 times faster than humans.
  • The average life of a dolphin in the wild is 17 years. Some though have been able to live for 50 years.
  • The majority of dolphins live in saltwater, only 4 species of River Dolphins are able to live in freshwater.
  • Dolphins get air from the surface through their blowhole. Some need to get air several times a minute but others only need to get air twice per hour.
  • They develop very strong bonds in their pods and they care for each other’s needs. They help with the young, the old, and the injured.
  • Dolphins can be aggressive and some have even killed humans before. Most of the time though they are very timid.
  • They have very good vision that enables them to see well under the water.
  • When compared to body size, the dolphin has a very large brain. The only comparison that is better is that of humans.
  • Up to 30 pounds of food can be consumed daily by an adult dolphin.
  • Most dolphins have teeth, up to 100 of them, but they don’t chew with them. They only use them to hold food and to help them fight when necessary.
  • Some dolphin species are able to leap up at 20 feet in the air.
  • The largest member of the dolphin family is the Killer Whale, and they can be up to 30 feet long.
  • Dolphins have skin that is quite sensitive and it can easily be damaged by their environment or when humans touch them.
  • The largest of all freshwater dolphins is the Boto Dolphin which can be up to 10 feet in length.
  • Plenty of different hunting strategies are known to be used by dolphins to gather food. They hunt in groups and they often circle their prey to create a tight ball out of it. Then they can take turns going into it and getting food.
  • Dolphins do sleep, but only one side of the brain at a time. This ensures they can be alert to possible risks and that they can surface for air when they need to.
  • They are very social and spend lots of time playing and teasing. They have been seen playing with seaweed and with various forms of aquatic life.
  • Reduced food supplies due to global warming is a huge risk to all of the dolphin populations.
  • Migration often occurs for dolphins to ensure they can find food and to make sure they are in bodies of water that are warm enough. Not all dolphins migrate though as if they are can get their basis needs met where they happen to be there is no need for them to move.

Jumping Cleymene Dolphins

  • It is very seldom that you will see dolphins hunting along, but some species do so. Being in sync, cooperating, and using echolocation allows them to find enough food without using lots of energy to do so.
  • Dolphins vary in size with the smallest about 4 feet and 90 pounds. The largest can be 30 feet long and weigh 11 tons.
  • The melon in the head along with the lower jaw and the teeth are primary elements of the echolocation for dolphins. Most dolphins feature a crease in the head due to the melon but there are exceptions.
  • Dolphins can be born with small hairs on their body but they will fall out shortly afterwards. The only known dolphin species to keep those small hairs as adults is the Boto River Dolphin.
  • Most dolphins have the ability to heal their bodies fast after injuries including bites from sharks. It isn’t understood how they can do that when other mammals would die from hemorrhaging. Some dolphins have scars from such bite that turn white over time. This can give the appearance of white spots on the body when someone sees them from a distance.

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