Facts about Dolphins

Facts About

Description of Dolphins
The Dolphin is described a marine cetacean mammal of the order cetacea. The term cetacean includes all 76 known species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Those more than 4 to 5 m (13 to 16 ft) long are generally referred to as whales, whereas smaller species are known as dolphins or porpoises.  Dolphins as the bottle-nosed dolphin, of the family Delphinidae, similar to the whales but generally smaller and having a distinct beaklike snout, called a rostrum, with conical shaped teeth. Dolphins rank among the most intelligent marine mammals. The origins of the name come from the Greek word delphus meaning womb (from its shape)

Echolocation - All dolphins can see, however as visibility is restricted underwater they have developed the use of a sonar system called  'echolocation' to find food when navigating and hunting for food. Their clicks make high-frequency sounds, and the echoes of these sounds bounce back which enables them to make a mental map. Using this mental map they are able to avoid the smallest of obstacles whilst locating their prey. In just a split second Echlocation enables them to determine the size of objects, their location, how fast they are

Differences between the Dolphin and the Porpoise
The Dolphin and the Porpoise are two different types of mammals:

  • Dolphins are larger, more streamlined and acrobatic
  • Porpoises are smaller and stockier with triangular dorsal fins or no dorsal fins at all
  • The dolphin dorsal fin is larger and more curved
  • Dolphins have a 'beak'
  • Porpoises are 'beakless', with a rounded snout
  • Dolphins travel in larger groups than porpoises
  • Dolphins produce sounds that humans can hear
  • Porpoises communicate at frequencies beyond the range of human hearing
Species of Dolphins
There are thirty-eight different species of Dolphins which can be divided into three categories of Humpbacked, Ocean and River dolphins examples of which include the following:
  • Common dolphin
    • Delphinus delphis (short-beaked)
    • Delphinus capensis (long-beaked)
  • Humpbacked Dolphins
    • Sousa teuszii - Atlantic Humpbacked Dolphin
    • Sousa chinensis - Indo-Pacific Humpbacked
  • Ocean Dolphins
    • Stenella frontalis - Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
    • Tursiops truncatus - Bottlenose
    • Cephalorhynchus eutropia - Chilean
    • Lagenorhynchus cruciger - Hourglass
    • Lagenorhynchus obliquidens - Pacific White-Sided Dolphin
    • Stenella attenuata - Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
    • Steno bredanensis - Rough-Toothed Dolphin
    • Stenella longirostris - Spinner
    • Stenella coeruleoalba - Striped Dolphin
  • River Dolphins
    • Lipotes vexillifer - Baiji - Chinese River Dolphin
    • Inia geoffrensis - Boto - Amazon River Dolphin
    • Pontoporia blainvillei - Franciscana - La Plata River Dolphin
    • Platanista minor - Indus River Dolphin

Facts about where Dolphins live and what they eat!
Dolphins are native to all of the World's Oceans and Seas. They can also be found in some large river systems as indicated above by their species names 
Dolphins are carnivores and their diets vary according to their habitat but commonly consist of either fish or squid, octopus, cuttlefish, crabs, shrimps and lobsters.

Basic Facts about Dolphins
The name of a male is referred to simply as a male
The name of a female is referred to simply as a female
The name or offspring, or a baby Dolphins, is a calf
The average size of a litter is one
The collective name for a group of Dolphins is a pod
The sound made by a Dolphins is referred to as a click or a whistle

Facts about the Size of Male Dolphins
Killer whales are the largest species of dolphin and can grow to 9.8 m and weigh up to 9,000-to-10,000 kg.

Facts about the life, behavior and personality of Dolphins

  • They have their own signature whistle which distinguishes them from other dolphins!
  • Groups form strong alliances in their pods
  • A baby dolphin learns to 'speak' and hunt from its parents

Cool and Fun Facts about Dolphins
Some fascinating information & facts about Dolphins - find our what a Pod, a Rostrum, a Melon, Blubber, Flukes and Blowholes are!

  • A group of dolphins is called a Pod

  • Their snouts, or beaks, are called the Rostrum
  • The Fatty tissue below a dolphin's skin helps to keep it warm and is called Blubber
  • Fins - the Dorsal Fin is used for balance and is found on the back of the animal
  • Fins - the Pectoral Fins are used for stopping and steering and found on either side of the body
  • Fins - the Flukes are used for propelling through water and are located on the tail
  • The forehead is called the Melon (because of its shape)
  • This is a hole at the top of a dolphin's head called a Blowhole which is used for breathing and making sounds

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