Q:

Are dolphins mammals or fish?

A:

Quick Answer

Dolphins are carnivorous mammals. One of the best known species of dolphin is the bottlenose dolphin, which lives all over the world in warm waters and is the species often featured in aquatic shows and movies.

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Full Answer

Bottlenose dolphins can live up to 50 years in captivity. They typically range in length between 10 to 14 feet and weigh over 1,000 pounds. These dolphins are capable of swimming at speeds close to 20 miles per hour, and they are known to be able to leap out of water over 15 feet. Dolphins are largely social mammals, traveling in groups called pods. These dolphins use various sounds to communicate with each other.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the characteristics of dolphins?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    What are the predators of dolphins?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    Can dolphins beat sharks?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What makes a mammal a mammal?

    A:

    Mammals have characteristics in their cells and bodies that help classify them as mammals. All mammals are vertebrates, are endothermic, have hair on their bodies and produce milk in order to feed their young.

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