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Fun Facts on Dolphins

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Did You Know?
Did you know that the dolphin is scientifically described a marine cetacean mammal? The term cetacean includes all 76 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Those greater than 4 - 5 m long are commonly referred to as whales, the smaller variety are known as dolphins or porpoises. Did you know that dolphins are considered as one of the most intelligent mammals on earth? Learn lots of fun facts about dolphins by watching the short video - a great resource for teachers and students

Fun Fact 1: There are thirty-eight different species of Dolphins; they can be split into three different categories; humpbacked, ocean and river dolphins

Fun Fact 2: Species of Dolphins are native to every sea and oceans on Earth. They also habitat in some of the world's large river systems

Fun Fact 3: What is Echolocation? Echolocation is a navigation system animals use to find food when visibility is restricted. The dolphin sends out high-frequency clicking sounds, the echoes of these sounds bounce back and enable the dolphin to create a mental map of the different objects in its path. Echolocation allows them to establish size and location within their surroundings and the travelling speed of objects nearby

Fun Fact 4: What do Dolphins eat? They are carnivores, which mean they eat meat, their diet varies depending on the habitat but usually consists of fish, squid, octopus, cuttlefish, crabs, shrimps and lobsters

Fun Fact 5: A group of dolphins is called a Pod, groups form very strong links within their pods

Fun Fact 6: Every dolphin has a unique signature whistle, this distinguishes them from other dolphins

Fun Fact 7: The correct name for a dolphin snout, or beak, is the Rostrum. At the top of a dolphin's head is a Blowhole, this enables the dolphin to  breathe and make sounds

Fun Fact 8: The dolphin is not a fish, it is a mammal. A mammal is a warm blooded, vertebrate mammal. Warm blooded means that their body temperature will stay the same although their environment may change

Fun Fact 9: The Dolphin and the Porpoise are two different types of mammals from the same family. Generally, dolphins are bigger, more acrobatic, have larger, curved dorsal fins, travel in larger groups and produce noises that we can hear. Porpoises are less streamline and have either triangular dorsal fins or no dorsal fins at all, they are also beakless; the snout is rounded

Fun Fact 10: The Pink Dolphin is the familiar name used for two types of dolphins; the Amazon River Dolphin from South America (which can be pink or light gray) and the Chinese White Dolphin from Southeast Asia (which can be pink or white). Their distinctive pink color is caused by blood vessels being so close to their thin skins, which also has slight pink pigmentation

Fun Fact 11: Spinner Dolphins are considered one of the most social of all the species. This long snouted, slender dolphin lives in open areas of tropical water. Spinner Dolphins are know for the ability to jump into the air and perform impressive jumps, flips and spins, they can turn up to 5 spins in a single spectacular leap

Fun Fact 12: The fins on dolphins have specific purpose; the Dorsal Fin is on the back, it is used for balance. The Pectoral Fins are on the sides of the body, they are used for stopping and steering. The Flukes are situated on the tail and they are used for propelling through water

Fun Fact 13: The Bottlenose dolphin is the most well known of all dolphin species. Living in groups of 10-30 they dwell in warm seas worldwide, and are highly recognised for their intelligence and ability to communicate and interact with humans. They are popular stars in an aquarium shows, and the bottlenose 'Flipper' became a world wide film star. In recent years they have been trained by Military and Naval services to locate sea mines and detect enemy equipment

Fun Fact 14: The largest species of dolphin is the Killer whale, they can grow up to 9.8 m in length and weigh approximately 9,000-10,000 kg

Fun Fact 15: Some species of cetacean mammals are identified as endangered and threatened; they are protected under an Endangered Species Act (ESA). There are currently 13 species of whale, 3 species of dolphin and 2 species of porpoise listed as endangered. Entanglement in various types of fishing gear is a key threat to these species - in addition to a slow recovery from illegal hunting and commercial whaling

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