Q:

Do dolphins have a backbone?

A:

Quick Answer

Dolphins belong to the subphylum Vertebrata, meaning that dolphins are animals with backbones. Oceanic dolphins are toothed whales within the family Delphinidae, while river dolphins are included in the family Platanistidae.

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Full Answer

Dolphins are usually less than 10 feet in length. They have a beak-like snout called a rostrum and small teeth. The diet of the dolphin is strictly carnivorous and is largely composed of fish and squid, although orcas are capable of hunting large whales. Dolphins are found in oceanic bodies of water globally, save for the Caspian and Aral Seas. Dolphins produce a wide variety of vocalizations to communicate with other dolphins and incapacitate prey.

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    How do dolphins move?

    A:

    According to the National Marine Life Center, dolphins move by pushing their powerful tail flukes up and down in the water. This tail movement pushes water back and propels the dolphin forward. To steer through the water, dolphins use their pectoral fins and their dorsal fins.

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    How do dolphins breathe underwater?

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    Dolphins do not breathe underwater. Before they dive, they take a big breath. They hold it while they are underwater.

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    What are the characteristics of dolphins?

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    Dolphins are members of the Odontoceti, a suborder of cetaceans - that is, all whales, dolphins and porpoises - that means "toothed whales." There are approximately 40 species of dolphins and all are carnivores, primarily subsisting on fish and cephalopods.

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    Bottlenose dolphins are well-known stars of aquarium shows. Although they're typically shallow divers, they can dive down to 850 feet or so below the ocean's surface and they can also stay underwater for up to 15 minutes. They are social beings who cooperate when nursing their calves and hunting for food.

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