10 Fun Facts About Dolphins
Fun facts about dolphins
As humans we are strangely attracted to a variety of other animals. Cuddly bears, pandas, some dogs and elephants to name a few, but one species high on the list is Dolphins.
What is it about dolphins? Why are we so attracted to them? Why do we get such a thrill seeing and even swimming with a dolphin in the wild?
There may be scientific answers but all we at Freedom Watersports can say is they are fun!
They look like they are enjoying themselves, not some of the time, but all the time!
Tell me….when did you ever see a picture of a grumpy dolphin?
OK, I’ll answer…never!
Permanent smile, permanently playing, permanently having fun!
They fit in well with our ethos!
People go crazy for dolphins!
There are so many fun facts about dolphins that people write books about them! Dolphins have been the subject of an enormous amount of research and it is a tough job bringing an article on fun facts about dolphins down to a manageable size.
But how much do you actually know about dolphins?
We though it would be a good idea to put together some interesting information about dolphins so when you come out on one of our amazing jet ski dolphin tours you will know something about them.
So, here we go - 10 fun facts about dolphins!
Our Local Dolphins
Dolphins are found all over the globe and prefer warn tropical waters. We are fortunate here in Panama City Beach that they like us as much as we like them and we have a resident population of one of the largest pods of Bottlenose dolphins.
What is a dolphin pod?
A dolphin pod is a group of dolphins who live together, hunt together and socialize together. Pods can vary from 2 or 30 and occasionally form ‘super pods’ which can be hundreds or even thousands!
Super pods usually break up after a while and disperse into smaller pods. Dolphins like hanging out together, make friends with other dolphins and help each other to hunt (and have fun!).
Are dolphins mammals or fish?
Unlike sharks, dolphins aren’t fish. They are mammals and breast feed their young. It is not uncommon for other female dolphins to assist a new mother with bringing up a new baby. Baby dolphins are often seen in Spring and Autumn and of course, they stay close to their mothers.
How do dolphins give birth?
Baby dolphins (calves) are usually born tail first! They do this to prevent their calves from drowning. Calves weigh somewhere between 22 and 44 lbs at birth are are approximately 4ft long.
Sometimes another dolphin, female or male may assist a new mother and calf. They are referred to as ‘Aunties’. Mothers are very protective of their calf and an Auntie is the only other dolphin allowed anywhere near the calf.
So, baby dolphins start out on mother’s milk for the first 18-24 months and then progress onto small schoaling fish.
A calf may stay with its mother for 3-6 years.
What does a dolphin eat?
A fully grown dolphin eats about 4-6% of its body weight per day which works out to be about 13 - 15 lbs per day.
Dolphins eat a variety of octopus, small shoaling fish, crustaceans and squid.
Do dolphins bite?
Dolphins have somewhere between 80 and 100 teeth - but don’t worry - they don’t bite! They use their teeth to trap fish and then swallow them whole.
Do dolphins drink water?
Dolphins don’t drink water. All the water they need is provided by the food they eat. Of course, when swallowing their food they also swallow a lot of seawater, and that’s not good for them. They have evolved a very advanced filtration system to separate the salt from the water and that prevents any organ damage.
How do dolphins breathe?
Similar to whales, dolphins to not have gills.
They breathe through a blowhole at the back of their head. In order to give them time underwater between breaths, they exchange 90% of their lung capacity when they breathe.
Humans exchange maybe 15%.
Because they consciously breathe, dolphins have to shut down one hemisphere of their brains in order to stay alive while sleeping. While resting, the other half of the brain monitors what’s going in the environment and controls breathing functions
How do dolphins communicate?
Dolphins communicate via whistles and clicks, they also use body language. It is thought that each dolphin has a unique whistle which uniquely identifies it.
Clicks are also used for ‘echolocation’ where similar to radar, reflected , or returned clicks’ build a picture of their surroundings and allows them to ‘see’ even in the murkiest of waters.
Are dolphins intelligent?
Intelligence is a difficult term to define, let alone measure so we humans devise ways to measure ‘intelligence’ but these are based on our own understanding of life.
A typical way to measure intelligence is by examining brain to body size and on that score, dolphins are second only to human beings. We also look at their ability to learn, communicate, socialize and problem solve. Dolphins are good at all these things.
Do dolphins like to ‘play’?
Oh yes! They love playing and even invent their own games. They will often use a fish or a turtle as a ball and play catch amongst themselves. They love surfing and will often be seen riding the bow waves of boats and also riding waves into the shoreline.
They are curious and like to investigate new things - they like to come and interact with us humans which is great for us on jet ski tours!
We hope you enjoyed some of these fun facts about dolphins and who knows...we may do another blog post on them!
For the scientific facts courtesy of wikipedia
The name is originally from Greek δελφίς (delphís), "dolphin", which was related to the Greek δελφύς (delphus), "womb".The animal's name can therefore be interpreted as meaning "a 'fish' with a womb".
The name was transmitted via the Latin delphinus (the romanization of the later Greek δελφῖνος – delphinos), which in Medieval Latin became dolfinus and in Old French daulphin, which reintroduced the ph into the word. The term mereswine (that is, "sea pig") has also historically been used.
The term 'dolphin' can be used to refer to, under the parvorder Odontoceti, all the species in the family Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins) and the river dolphin families Iniidae (South American river dolphins), Pontoporiidae (La Plata dolphin), Lipotidae (Yangtze river dolphin) and Platanistidae (Ganges river dolphin and Indus river dolphin).
This term has often been misused in the US, mainly in the fishing industry, where all small cetaceans (dolphins and porpoises) are considered porpoises, while the fish dorado is called dolphin fish.
In common usage the term 'whale' is used only for the larger cetacean species, while the smaller ones with a beaked or longer nose are considered 'dolphins'.
The name 'dolphin' is used casually as a synonym for bottlenose dolphin, the most common and familiar species of dolphin. There are six species of dolphins commonly thought of as whales, collectively known as blackfish: the killer whale, the melon-headed whale, the pygmy killer whale, the false killer whale, and the two species of pilot whales, all of which are classified under the family Delphinidae and qualify as dolphins.
Though the terms 'dolphin' and 'porpoise' are sometimes used interchangeably, porpoises are not considered dolphins and have different physical features such as a shorter beak and spade-shaped teeth; they also differ in their behavior.
Porpoises belong to the family Phocoenidae and share a common ancestry with the Delphinidae.
Come and enjoy a jet ski dolphin tour with Freedom Watersports and come and meet these amazing creatures of the sea! We hope you have learned some useful things from our fun facts about dolphins blog post and have a great jet ski rental tour!
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