Dolphins are one of the most lovable and highly intelligent marine mammals. They belong to the infra-order ‘Cetacea’. It includes whales and porpoises along with dolphin. There are 43 identified species of dolphins and they are found all over the world. 38 of them are oceanic dolphins and 5 of them are river dolphins. Dolphins have teeth and their number of teeth can range from 8 to 250 depending upon the species. They do not chew their food by using their teeth. They just catch the prey and swallow it whole. They do not drink water as they swim in salt water. Dolphins get the water they require from the fish they eat.
Quick Facts: –
- Dolphins do have hair similar to other mammals but only at the time of their birth. These hairs fall out within two weeks.
- They also breathe air, give birth to live young, and nurse babies with milk.
- They have to reach the surface of the ocean time to time to catch their breath.
- Dolphins eat through their mouths and breathe using the blowholes. It prevents them from sucking up water into their lungs.
- They are extremely social creatures and live in groups. Their groups are called pods.
- Their gestation period can vary from one species to another and can be anywhere from 9 to 17 months.
- Female dolphins give birth to generally one calf at a time. Twins are very rare.
- These carnivorous mammals consume a variety of prey including fish, squid etc.
- They prefer to live in shallow waters of the tropical and temperate ocean all over the world.
- Dolphins use echolocation to find prey and often hunt together. They surround a school of fish to trap them and then take turns of catching them.
- They mate throughout the year but most commonly in spring and fall.
- The half of a dolphin’s brain remains active when it goes to sleep to prevent them from drowning.