Dolphins weigh approximately 125 lbs. to 22,000 lbs. depending on the species, with the most popular dolphin species, the bottlenose dolphin, weighing in at 1,100 lbs. Although orcas are often called killer whales, they are actually the biggest dolphin in the world.Know More
Another odd member of the dolphin family is the pilot whale. The smallest dolphins, when it comes to length, are the vaquita porpoise and the Hector's dolphin. Sadly, one species of dolphins is now considered extinct and that is the Yangtze River dolphin. All dolphins can live up to 40 years in the wild and orcas can live up to 70 years in the wild. In captivity, dolphins have been known to have a much shorter lifespan.
Dolphins are interesting species that sleep semi-consciously. The dolphin is unlike humans and cannot breathe subconsciously, but rather needs to be fully awake or conscious. To do this, dolphins will only sleep with half of their brain at one time. The other brain will remain awake to look out for predators and to continue breathing.
Dolphins also have interesting ways of communicating. They use a series of sounds such as squeaks, clicks and whistles. They also use a sonar process called echolocation, to learn about their environment and where prey is.Learn more about Marine Mammals
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.Full Answer >
Dolphins do not breathe underwater. Before they dive, they take a big breath. They hold it while they are underwater.Full Answer >
Dolphins are mammals, and all mammals have some type of hair. There is a misconception that the bottlenose dolphin has no hair on its body, but dolphins do have a small area on their noses that produces hair.Full Answer >
Dolphins are close to the top of their food chain with few natural predators other than sharks. When faced by a predator, dolphins often circle, head butt or use their tails to hit the other animal in self defense. According to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, sharks often attack dolphins from behind or below as shown by bite scars.Full Answer >