Dolphins are types of cetacean mammals that are closely related to porpoises and whales. They range in size from 4 feet to 30 feet and weigh up to 10 tons. Dolphins have a single blowhole, cone-shaped teeth and a pronounced beak. Although dolphins don't have body hair, they have hair follicles that may perform sensory functions. Dolphins are typically gray in color and live in both pelagic and coastal water.
Dolphins have streamlined bodies that are adapted for fast swimming. The fluke, or tail fin, provides for propulsion, while the pectoral fins are utilized for directional control. The dolphin's diet consists mainly of squid and fish. Dolphins swallow their food whole instead of chewing. Dolphins have excellent eyesight and hearing that is 10 times stronger than humans. In addition, all dolphins are capable of utilizing echolocation. Dolphins have a well-developed sense of touch and have a sense of taste, despite not having a sense of smell.
Dolphins are very social creatures. They typically live and travel together in groups of between two and 40, with some dolphin pods containing as many as several hundred dolphins. Dolphins rely on social interaction to hunt and defend themselves against predators. The strength of dolphins' social bonds is illustrated by the fact that dolphins stay with other dolphins that are injured or sick and even carry them to the surface to help them breathe. The bottlenose dolphin is perhaps the most well-known dolphin species. Other dolphin species include spinner dolphin, common dolphin, striped dolphin, dusky dolphin and killer whale.Learn More
The pygmy hippopotamus has several special adaptations for living in its environment, including major sensory organs on top of its head, strong muscles to keep ears and nostrils shut underwater and secretions of a red liquid that moisturizes the skin. These special adaptations are ideal for the creature's aquatic habitat.Full Answer >
Sea otters protect themselves from predators by escaping to dry land, hiding in kelp or swimming away. The main predators of sea otters are water-bound sharks and killer whales, so sea otters can protect themselves by climbing onto land.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Depending on the species, a whale can stay underwater for as few as 20 minutes or as long as 2 hours. Whales are mammals, which is why they must come to the surface of the water to breathe.Full Answer >