What is a dolphin?
Dolphins, a large family of marine mammals, are closely related to porpoises and whales. They are social animals, moving in large groups known as pods. Here are the basic yet interesting facts about these fascinating creatures.
How many types of dolphins are there in the world?
There are about 40 species of dolphins in the world.
What do dolphins look like?
Their appearance is quite similar to that of porpoises, but with long, prominent snouts and pointier back fins. They have characteristic spindle-shaped bodies that help them to move fast underwater. Like most other aquatic mammals, dolphins do not have hair or fur covering their bodies.
What color are dolphins?
While many species are black and white, some species have more unique colorations. Bottlenose dolphins have grey or slate back sides, fading to a pale whitish shade towards the lower bodies. Spotted dolphins are named such because of their black and white spotted coloration while pink dolphins have pale pinkish bodies.
How big are dolphins?
Their size depends on the species with the general length ranging between 4 feet and 30 feet.
How much do dolphins weigh?
The body weight varies from one species to another, ranging from 50 kg to 10 tonnes.
Where do dolphins live?
Large species like the bottlenose and white-sided dolphins are found in the marine waters all over the world with their range of distribution including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Smaller species like the pink dolphins live in rivers like the Amazon. Their range of habitat mainly includes the tropical and temperate waters as most dolphins are not adapted for the extreme cold of the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
What do dolphins eat?
They are carnivorous in nature, with their diet including various fishes (herring, capelin), crustaceans (shrimp) and squids.
What are dolphins’ predators?
Most aquatic predators keep away from dolphin pods. But, large sharks are known to occasionally prey on them.
How long do dolphins live?
They have a long life expectancy in the wild, living for 20 to 80 years.
What is a baby dolphin called?
Young dolphins are commonly referred to as calves.
How do dolphins communicate?
They make various clicking, squeaking and whistling sounds to communicate with each other.
How do dolphins swim so fast?
Dolphin’s ability to move so fast underwater with such a heavy body has riddled scientists over the years. But, recent researches found that apart from its fusiform body, the specially adapted tail and back fin also assist it to swim and navigate underwater.
How do dolphins sleep?
Dolphins cannot go to deep sleeps for long hours as they need to stay awake to breathe in water. So, they keep one half of their brain awake to breathe and watch out for potential dangers while the other half sleeps.
Why are dolphins endangered?
Both the marine and river dolphins are greatly threatened all over the world mainly due to global warming, urbanization and human activities. Countless dolphins die when they get tangled in fishing nets while many species are actually hunted for food.
|Largest dolphins||The orca or killer whale (Orcinus orca)|
|Smallest dolphins||Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori)|
|Heaviest dolphins||Orca (Orcinus orca)|
Now that you know so much about these amazing mysterious animals, how about spending some more time with them and learning to draw one on your own? It is sure to come handy for a school science project or just to create an artistic masterpiece.