When you see a dolphin, what is the first thought that pops on your mind? Surely, the fact that they are cute and easily accessible. They do not tend to bare their teeth when you face them. They are much friendlier than other aquatic organisms. Here are some interesting dolphin facts that you will be astonished to learn.
General dolphin facts
Dolphins come under the infraorder Cetacea and consist of about 40 species. They comprise of three living families – Iniidae, Delphinidae, and Platanistidae. The Lipotidae family of dolphins has, unfortunately, become extinct.
Out of the 40 species of this aquatic mammal, the size and weight of various dolphins are not the same. They differ based on the species type. Some dolphins may be as small as 5 feet while others may be as long as 31 feet. You will be surprised to know that some dolphin weighs about 5000 kg while others may weigh as low as 25 kg. Wow, some insightful dolphin facts, aren’t they?
Dolphins are generally found in the oceans where waters are shallow. Most of them seem to prefer the tropic and the temperate zones, where the waters are warm. But, some of them live in rivers and some of them prefer colder waters.
Dolphins do not have gills. They also have a fatty layer called the blubber which is responsible for keeping them warm on the cold waters.
Do you think dolphins are fishes? Absolutely not, dolphins are categorized as mammals. The absence of gills further proves these dolphin facts. They breathe through the lungs. And as such, they cannot be underwater for long as they need to come to the surface to take the air.
Did you know that male dolphin are called bulls and female dolphins’ cows? If this amazes you, wait for the next fact. The young dolphins are called calves. You did not see this analogy with cows coming, did you? The baby dolphin facts are bound to amaze you.
As cute as dolphins are, they are carnivores. They eat small fishes, squids, jellyfish, etc. Some larger dolphins can also eat seals, penguins, etc.
The survival of dolphins is far more at risk by human involvement than naturally. Their natural enemies are few but they face major threats from humankind. Hunting and fishing dolphins have driven them to near extinction. It seems once again that humans are to be blamed if this lovely creature vanishes one day.
When you think of dolphins, you generally view them, as creatures that mate for life, don’t you? Alas! They don’t. Well, these are for sure some weird dolphin facts. Male dolphins usually mate with female dolphins and after mating, they leave. The female raises the young one all by herself.
Even though the male dolphins leave their partner after mating, it does not deter them from displaying possessiveness. Dolphins exhibit a high level of possessiveness when it comes to females and can even attack other male dolphins for them. You only thought humans capable of that, didn’t you? These dolphin facts show otherwise.
When about to have a calf, the female dolphins exhibit maternal behavior. They nurture them and take care of them. They display varying degrees of parental behavior, and just like your mother; the female dolphin teaches her calf the ways of life.
Different species of dolphin have a varying lifespan. Some live up to 30 years while others may live for more than 60 years.
Interesting facts about dolphins intelligence
Dolphins are highly social creatures. They cannot live and function alone. They are usually found in groups called pods. Dolphins form groups and go hunting. They also sometimes form groups to protect their females.
Humans find dolphins adorable and the fact that the dolphins can communicate with them is proof of their intelligence. Dolphins have helped and even rescued humans from different types of danger. This makes dolphins friends with humans. These dolphin facts make them even more approachable and lovable.
It has been observed that on many occasions, dolphins save swimmers or other people standing by the ocean from drowning. They have even helped people drowning after a shipwreck. Their friendly nature makes humans not feel any imminent danger and turn to them for help.
Dolphins are often captured and trained by humans. They understand and perform the various tricks that are taught to them. They play with balls and stand on their tails. Dolphins are observed to interact greatly with humans, and that states more about their intelligence.
When given a chance, dolphins display creativity like no other mammals. They will surely impress you with their creative acts and is going to leave a smile on your face. Parents usually bring children to see the dolphins.
Dolphins have their language which they use to communicate with each other. Humans have not yet been able to decode their language, and that is surely not for the lack of trying. The size of the brain of a dolphin is large and is complex. Many scientists have observed that dolphins are very intelligent and learn and adapt very quickly.
The evolution of dolphins is highly interesting. They were not always inhabitants of the sea. Their ancestors werewolf-like land animals. Then, these ancestors re-entered the world of the sea and started living there. This is how the existence of dolphins came to be. The revelations of these dolphin facts are sure to make you think twice.
The military has used dolphins for the last few decades. It seems rather impossible to imagine this scenario, doesn’t it? But, this is true and while it sounds scary, there are no proofs that the military uses dolphins for nefarious purposes. Dolphins are usually used to detect underwater mines by a technique called echolocation. They are also used to scan the enemy harbors and alert the military sending them. Well, this is some interesting facts about dolphins intelligence.
Have you ever used drugs? You really shouldn’t. But, dolphins do. Doesn’t sound believable, do they? Dolphins have been observed to catch fishes like pufferfish that release neurotoxins. These neurotoxins cause a recreational effect and are known to be enjoyed by the dolphins.
When you know the social nature of the dolphins, you will not be surprised to know that dolphins form great friendships with each other. Their similarities with humans are mind-boggling. But as human nature tends to be, they are equally fickle and can break friendships over the smallest and vaguest reasons. These dolphin facts are surely going to empathize with them.
Baby dolphin facts
Baby dolphin facts tell you that baby dolphin are called calves and are cute and smaller. Their size varies from 39 to 53 inches long. Their weight is between 22 to 44 lbs. But, these factors are variables and depend greatly on the species of the dolphins.
Baby dolphins are born tail first. This is because while their birth takes place underwater, the emergence of tails makes it possible for the baby dolphin to swim and go the surface to take its first breath.
Female dolphins act just like your mother. They feed milk to their young ones for about two years. Baby dolphins usually stay with their mothers until they grow and are mature enough to survive off their own. This period can be anywhere between 8 to 10 years. Mother dolphins teach everything to their calves and protect them fiercely against all dangers.
For a long time, baby dolphins feed on the milk provided by their mothers. When they stop drinking that, the calves start catching smaller fishes and eventually, move onto bigger ones.
Weird dolphin facts
Dolphins don’t sleep soundly like the other mammals. Breathing for dolphins is not an involuntary action. They have to breathe by making a conscious effort. This is the reason why dolphins don’t sleep completely like other mammals. If they become unconscious, they may forget to b breathe and drown.
When sleeping, the brain of a dolphin takes shifts. This is weird and amazing in equal proportions. When the right side of the brain of the dolphins falls asleep, the left side stays awake. Likewise, when the left side is asleep, the right side is awake. The fact that half their brain stays awake means that they can be on the lookout from other predators and be less vulnerable while taking rest.
Can you believe that dolphins call each other by name? They do! They have specific whistles that they associate with individual dolphins. So, when a dolphin gives out a particular whistle, it is most probably calling another dolphin. These are some weird dolphin facts.
Dolphins are by nature-friendly mammals but they can go berserk too. There have been reports of dolphins attacking people on the sea and exhibiting aggressive behavior. So, watch out while you visit the dolphins!
Dolphins have long since been found in the culture of humankind. In Greek mythology, dolphins have been depicted as animals that help humans in need. They held dolphins in high regard and harming them could lead to death as a penalty.
Dolphins swim by moving their tail up and down. This characteristically differs from fishes. Fishes generally move by swinging their tail in a left to right motion. Another interesting fact is that dolphins can only swim forwards. They are unable to swim backward.
Dolphin facts for kids
Dolphins don’t have noses. They breathe through a hole in their body surface called the blowhole.
The color of dolphins is usually grey but their color may vary depending on the species.
The name might not suggest it but killer whales are dolphins. These are large-sized but do not kill humans.
Dolphins have an outstanding vision and can see things clearly from far away. Dolphins’ uses a technique called echolocation to see things when the environment is too dark. This is probably how they also identify humans. These dolphin facts are sure to grab the attention of your kids.
Dolphins do not have visible ears but their hearing is above average. They hear a pitch that is above the hearing range of the humans.
Dolphins communicate with each other by making various sounds like trills, grunts, and clicks. These dolphin facts for kids will surely raise their curiosity to learn more.
The self-awareness that a dolphin possesses distinctly differentiates it from other aquatic creatures. It shows the evolvement of the brain and makes them a highly intelligent creature.
Did you know that dolphins don’t drink water? Dolphins don’t need to drink water as they receive water from the foods that they consume.
Dolphins have teeth but do you know that they don’t use it for chewing food? Stunned, aren’t you? Dolphins use their teeth to grab their prey and then swallow them. They do not chew their food as they lack muscles in their jaw region.
Like humans, dolphins also have belly buttons. But that’s where the difference ends. The belly buttons of dolphins are smooth and are not puckered like in humans. These dolphin facts for kids are eye-opening and fun to know!
Facts about dolphin hunting
Hunting of dolphins while unethical is not illegal in many countries. Some countries even have drive hunts where they kill or capture dolphins using boats. Taiji, a place in Japan allows the hunting and killing of dolphins. It is a cruel tradition and does not make much sense.
The meat of dolphins while consumable are not beneficial for our body. They possess high levels of mercury which is rather harmful to humans.
These are some of the many facts about dolphins. Dolphins are magnificent creatures of the sea and exhibit various characteristics. Their raring similarities with humans make them an interesting and appealing watch. You can use these dolphin facts and enhance your knowledge before visiting the dolphins.