Welcome to some facts about one of my all time favourite creatures. Dolphins are extraordinarily intelligent animals who also display culture, something which was long-believed to be unique to humans.
Facts About the Dolphin
- Dolphins are extraordinarily intelligent animals who also display culture, something which was long-believed to be unique to humans (although now recognised in various species).
- Dolphins have been observed teaching young how to use tools. They cover their snouts with sponges to protect them while foraging.
- Dolphins have several highly developed forms of communication. They have a “signature whistle” which allows other individuals to recognise them.
- Dolphins are altruistic animals. They are known to stay and help injured individuals, even helping them to the surface to breath. Their compassion also extends across the species-barrier. There are many accounts of dolphins helping humans and even whales.
- Dolphins are incredibly social animals. They live in groups and cooperate with each other to get food and in raising offspring (calves).
- Dolphins are extremely playful and curious animals. They play-fight with each other and also play with seaweed. They have also been known to play with other animals such as dogs.
- Dolphins sleep by resting one side of the brain at a time. This allows them to continue rising to the surface for air and to keep an eye open to watch out for predators.
- Dolphins use echolocation to find food and navigate. This is a natural version of radar.
- The “killer whale”, or Orca, is actually a dolphin. It is known as a “killer whale” because it is a whale killer, not because it is a whale that kills.
- Dolphins can jump as high as 20 feet out of the water!
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Carnivore
- Lifespan: Around 12-20 years
- Size: 1.2-9.1m long
- Weight: 40 kg to over 6 tonnes
- Habitat: Oceans or river
- Range: Global, typically found in shallow seawater of the continental shelves
- Scientific name: Dolphin species are in the families Delphinadae (oceanic species) and Platanistoidea (river species)
Clancy's comment: Yep, such an amazing creature. I've watched them jump in and out of the water in front of massive ships.