Among the adaptations of dolphins are hydrodynamic bodies, blowholes on top of their heads, flippers and flukes and echolocation. Some scientists believe that dolphins are able to enjoy the benefits of sleep even while they're in the water by having one half of their brains alert and the other shut down.Know More
As with other whales, the ancestors of dolphins were terrestrial animals that returned to the sea for good. They are entirely pelagic, but they are still mammals. This means they are warm-blooded, need to breathe air and nurse their young with milk from mammary organs.
To help the animals move through the water, their bodies became streamlined. Their forelimbs evolved into flippers and their tails evolved into flukes. They lost their hind limbs.
The unique shape of a dolphin's pupils allow it to see well in both air and water.
The dolphin's nostrils moved up to the top of its head and became blowholes. This allows it to breathe without raising its head out of the water.
Dolphin babies are born flukes first and need help to the surface for their first breath. They don't have lips to suckle milk from their mothers, so the milk is injected into their mouths.Learn More
Dolphins hear when the sounds in the water bounce off the dolphin's jaw bone into the middle ear. Dolphins can hear far better than humans and their hearing is even better than that of dogs.Full Answer >
Wild dolphins usually live for between 25 to 30 years, while dolphins in captivity live to be around 40 years old on average. Few dolphins in the wild die of old age.Full Answer >
In spite of the bottlenose dolphin's gentle appearance, All About Wildlife explains that these animals are in fact apex predators. While great white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks occasionally prey on young dolphins, bottlenose dolphins are known to attack and kill sharks. All About Wildlife states that bottlenose dolphins kill or injure sharks by using their snouts to ram the sharks' vulnerable gills.Full Answer >
A dolphin's slimmer body, beak-like nose and curved fins distinguish it from the porpoise's stout build, rounded face and triangular fins, according to the National Ocean Service. Although they are different species, dolphins and porpoises both belong to order Cetacea. Approximately 32 dolphin species have been discovered, while only six known porpoise species exist.Full Answer >