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.Know More
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 about Marine Mammals
Dolphins have historically had a reputation for being shark killers. This reputation may have arisen from an incident at the Miami Sea Aquarium in the 1950s during which a group of bottlenose dolphins killed a sandbar shark that was swimming too close to the dolphins' young. However, there is very little scientific evidence to suggest that dolphins would overcome a shark in a confrontation.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 >
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 >
Though it swims in the ocean, a dolphin is not a fish. Instead, dolphins are marine mammals, meaning they have all of the physical characteristics that require a mammalian classification but live in the oceans.Full Answer >