Interesting Facts About Dolphins


Today's article is devoted to the amazing sea creatures - dolphins. You will learn many interesting things from the everyday life of these creatures, from the social order up to the unusual skills. Let's get started:

Let's start with a question. Is dolphin a fish or an animal? Most likely, you will think that since it lives in the water, it is fish. I hasten to disappoint you, dolphin is an animal, mammal, warm-blooded. Dolphins have all the signs of mammals, namely: they feed their young with milk, they are warm-blooded and have a coat. Yes! Their bodies are covered with wool. Newborn dolphins have weakly expressed coat, as they grow older it thins out and disappears.

Dolphins hunt using echolocation. Dolphin produces a series of clicks through the sinuses located in the frontal part of the head. The sound travels in the water and as soon as it is reflected from any object of, it returns back to the dolphin. Due to the multimillion evolution, dolphin’s brain can recognize an object from the reflected echo, up to the smallest detail: the shape, size, texture, distance and more. Dolphin’s echolocation is the most perfect among any existing. Dolphin can distinguish aluminum ball from copper one, as well as to feel even the slightest difference in size. Moreover, dolphin can detect a shark in a radius of 800 meters, and to determine whether it has full or empty stomach.

Dolphins live in families headed by a female, as a rule. Sometimes a couple of families may unite for the sake of hunting. These mammals are very clever, as they are taking care of the wounded relatives, and can repel sharks from the family. The birth of a baby dolphin is a very interesting process. Baby dolphin is born with its tail first. This is done so that the inexperienced baby would not breathe seawater until it is fully born. As the head finally appears, mom immediately pushes it to the surface for the first breath of life. At this time, the rest of the pack is protecting the family from danger. Baby dolphin remains with the mother until 2-3 years of age.

Scientists have been puzzled by the question of how dolphins sleep for quite a long time. After all, it is easy to drown or become a victim of the attacks of other predators. However, it appears that dolphin’s sleep is not similar to normal animal sleep. During sleep, one hemisphere of the brain of a dolphin is resting, and the second is awake. Thus, the dolphin is always in control and, at the same time, gets a good rest.

Here is the list of some unusual facts about dolphins:

  • Killer Whale is the largest dolphin. The smallest dolphin is Hector or Maui dolphin. Only 150 individuals of which survived to this day.

  • Narwhal is a dolphin that has a large ivory tusk, because of which they are often hunted by poachers. The only remaining population of narwhals is within the Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay.

  • Dolphins use their teeth only for capturing, but not for chewing chew. They do not have the jaw muscles for chewing.

  • Some dolphins can understand up to 60 words of which can be up to 2000 sentences. In addition, they show signs in consciousness studies.

  • One tablespoon of water in the lungs of dolphins will be enough to drown him. A person can drown if two tablespoons of water fall into his lungs.

  • Baby dolphins must learn to hold their breath during feedings. The female dolphin will assist in the birth of another dolphin, and if the birth is difficult, they help to pull the child. Other dolphins, including the males, swim around the mother during this process to protect her.

  • Breathing hole of a dolphin is a continuation of the nose, which has moved to the top of a dolphin's head. Dolphin’s body is adapted in a way, to avoid compression (formation of air bubbles in the blood and tissues when the diver returns to the water surface).

  • Dolphins do not have a sense of smell, but they have a sense of taste, and they, like humans, are able to distinguish between sweet, sour, bitter and salty tastes.

  • Dolphin’s eyes are able to produce "dolphin’s tears" - a slippery secretion that protects the eyes from foreign bodies and infections, and reduces the friction between the surface of the eye and the surrounding seawater. Marine Dolphins perfectly see under the water as well as above the water.

  • Dolphins can also "see" with sound. They emit a series of clicks and whistles that travel long distances through the thickness of the water. When sound reaches an object, an echo goes back to the dolphin, which allows it to literally hear the distance, shape, density, movement and texture of the object. With this ability to "echolocate" dolphins can distinguish between types of the same size fish.

  • Dolphin eats about 33 kilograms of fish per day, which corresponds to the human food as meat weighing 15-22 kilograms per day, but the dolphin does not gain weight from it.

  • Dolphins usually do not live alone, and organize their flock. It has a complex social structure.

  • Dolphins can kill sharks, ramming them with their noses.

  • Dolphins often practice strokes on the water next to the victim, when the fish tries to avoid capture. Some scientists believe that dolphins can also use high frequency to stun or paralyze fish while hunting. Unlike most wild animals, dolphins are known to play well with people, especially with children, while the majority of wild animals avoid contact with people.

  • Dolphin is not able to detect the thin filament of fishing nets, and therefore millions of dolphins have drowned as a result of entanglement.

  • The most dangerous enemies of the dolphin are people.

Why sharks are afraid of dolphins?

Seeing aggressive shark, they immediately attack the predator by the whole flock, leaving the shark no chance to save life. Even one dolphin is able to strike the shark with its powerful nose and a rather strong frontal part. Accelerating to a high speed, and crashing into a shark, it can kill this predator. It has been observed that the dolphin beats the shark in its weakest spot - the gills, or cuts in the belly, which is not less dangerous. Dolphins are protecting themselves desperately, inflicting one hit, they continue to attack the predator until death. If shark is lucky, it will have time to swim away.

Such an uneasy relationship between dolphins and sharks is a rather permanent phenomenon. This can be contributed to the fact that sharks developed a kind of conditional "reflex." If next to the sharks prey, there circling a flock of dolphins, even a very hungry shark will prefer to sail away than to engage in battle with them.

The myth of the harmlessness of the dolphins was scattered for a long time. Not only the sharks tried to stay away from the dolphins. It has been recorded many cases when dolphins cruelly attacked porpoises, scoring them to death with their noses. Moreover, they did so not because of hunger.

As we see, dolphins are very interesting animals. In any case, we shouldn’t forget that these animals are wild, and we do not know how they can behave in the next minute. That is why it is recommended to be careful with these animals, in order to be safe and not to provoke any unpleasant situation.

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