After starting with arboreal Chimps its now time to take a dive into the aquatic life with the most interesting aquatic animal: The Dolphins. Sp get ready for some interesting Dolphin Facts.
The word Dolphins refer to a group of almost forty species of animals closely related to whales. Most of us are aware that dolphins are very smart and intelligent animals. But in this blog I want to share some of the little known facts about these wonderful animals.
Interesting Dolphin Facts:
The word “Dolphin” has originated from Greek word “delphis” which basically means “A fish with a womb”. A male dolphin is called “Bull” and a female dolphin is called “Cow” while the young ones are called “Calves”. Dolphins are social animals and live in groups(called pods). The bonds of dolphins in a pod are very intense. They carry the sick, the elderly, and those that have been injured with great care. Young dolphins stay with their mother for 2-3 years.
Dolphins are mammals, i.e, they give birth to young rather than laying eggs and nurse them with milk. They are the descendants of terrestrial mammals and adapted to marine lifestyle roughly 50 million years ago. Their forelimbs transformed into flippers and hind legs disappeared.
Unlike most other mammals dolphins generally(apart from Boto river Dolphins) do not have any body hair.
They have a think layer of fat(blubber) beneath their skin. It helps them to protect against cold water and keep their body warm.
Like “The Wolverine” in X-men movies, Dolphins can heal the wounds very rapidly. They can tolerate extreme injuries like Shark bites but even those wounds do not cause dolphins to hemorrhage to death, even the infections are also very rare.
Dolphins are the only animal that gives birth tail first instead of the head.
The size and weight of dolphins can vary widely. The smallest dolphins are about 4 ft long and weights about 90 lbs, where as the largest one is about 30 ft long and weights 11tons. The brain of the dolphins are only 2nd to the humans in terms of size compared to its body size. Their brains are even bigger than monkeys.
Dolphins are carnivores. They eat mostly fish and squids. A mature dolphin can eat up to 30 lbs of fish daily. Though dolphins have teeth in their mouth(100 of them) they do not use the teeth for chewing. The teeth are used to grab the prey then they swallow it as a whole.
Dolphins are capable of making various noises using their nasal air sac. Dolphin’s echolocation is one of the loudest sound made by marine animals. It plays a big part in overall communication of the dolphins. It occurs through the melon in the head.
While sleeping one side of dolphins brain is awake to keep enough consciousness to breathe and watch for possible predators and other threats.
Unlike fish, dolphins need to come up to the surface to breathe air at different intervals. Some need air every 20 seconds but others only need it every 30 minutes.
Dolphins do not have good sense of smell as they lack olfactory nerve(it is responsible for the sense of smell).
Except for humans dolphins have few natural enemies. Lots of dolphins get stuck in the fishing nets.
Environmental pollution, destruction of habitat and overfishing have made many dolphin species endangered. We can protect these exciting aquatic form of life by educating ourselves and sharing the knowledge to others.