Do you like dolphins? How much do you know about these amazing animals? Check out these facts:
8 Fun Facts About Dolphins
(1) Wait, dolphins aren’t fish …
Nope, dolphins are actually classified as mammals, not fish! In fact, like all other mammals, dolphins have lungs. So, unlike fish, dolphins must swim to the water surface to breathe air.
(2) … and killer whales are dolphins?
Yes, despite their name, killer whales (also called orcas) are actually dolphins. In fact, they are the largest dolphins. So how did they get their name? Long ago, sailors who saw orcas attacking whales called the animals “whale killers.” The name was later switched to “killer whales.”
(3) Dolphin BFFs
Most dolphins live in large groups. Dolphins often work together to catch prey. They may surround a school of fish with bubbles, using the bubbles as a net to trap the fish. People have also observed dolphins helping other dolphins that are sick or injured.
(4) Dolphins have excellent hearing.
Dolphins can use sounds to sense the location of underwater objects. A dolphin locates such objects by making a series of clicking sounds. Echoes of these clicks reflect from underwater objects. By listening to the echoes, the dolphin can locate the object.
(5) Dolphins are smart.
Scientists think that dolphins rank among the most intelligent animals on Earth. Dolphins communicate with whistles and other sounds. Scientists believe that each dolphin has its own “name” made up of a unique whistle and that dolphins use these names to identify each other.
(6) Dolphin training and research
Since the mid-1900’s, dolphins have been trained to perform in shows presented by aquariums, zoos, and theme parks. Most trained dolphins are bottlenose dolphins. Scientists often use trained dolphins to study aspects of dolphin biology that they cannot accomplish using animals in the wild.
(7) Dolphin dining
Dolphins chiefly eat fish and squid. Dolphins swallow their food whole and usually eat the prey headfirst. Killer whales also feed on such marine mammals as dolphins, porpoises, seals, and whales. Dolphins don’t drink water. Instead, they get the water they need from the food they eat.
(8) Dolphin sleeping
A dolphin never completely sleeps. One side of its brain stays awake and one eye stays open to watch for danger.
Image Credit: © Andrea Izzotti, Shutterstock