For many millennia, man has looked out to the sea to see the playful dolphin do acrobatic tricks in water, leaving man in awe of what these creatures were capable of performing. As man grew smarter and evolved into what and how we are today, we have taken to the waters to more closely study these magnificent mammals and unlock the secrets they hold. Here are some of the fun fascinating facts we have uncovered about dolphins over the years of closely studying them.
There are roughly 40 different species of dolphins that swim in waters all around the world, While most live in the ocean, often in shallow and tropical areas, there a handful that actually live in rivers.
Dolphins are carnivores by nature, eating anything from fish to squid to support their diet of about 30 pounds of food a day.
Dolphins are in the same family that includes whales, and some whales, like killer whales, are actually dolphins, despite their name having “whale” in it.
Dolphins are very social, both with each other and with other species. Dolphins are known to be social with humans in the water, but also known to travel in very large groups, called pods. Some pods can reach up to 1000 members while the average is about 20.
Dolphins have been studied and tested, and are ranked as high of intelligence as apes. Studies have also shown that the evolution of their brains is actually very similar to humans.
The birthing process for dolphins can take anywhere from nine months to seventeen months. Once born, a calf, or baby dolphin, will stay with the nursing mother for up to two full years. The mothers also are very maternal, swimming close to and practically cuddling their calves.
Dolphins have no sense of smell, but make up for it with their amazing sense of sound and touch, and use echolocation to help see their surroundings.
Dolphins only have a few enemies, but unfortunately, their main enemy are humans. Humans cause pollution and some even hunt dolphins, making their main predator us. Due to human activities, some species of dolphins, like the Yangtze River Dolphin, have become extinct.
Being mammals, dolphins give live birth, nurse, and need to breathe oxygen. Unlike fellow land mammals, who use their mouths to both breathe and eat, dolphins use a separate hole, their blowhole, to breath and their mouths to eat, which allows them to eat without swallowing water into their lungs.
For more about Dolphins and to see them in person, take a ride on Destin’s Original Dolphin Cruise, the Southern Star! Not only will you learn more about the dolphins, you will also get the chance to see them as well!