The dolphin is a mammal that lives in the water. It breathes like humans, which is why it often needs to search the sea surface for fresh air. The dolphin holds its breath for an average of 5-8 minutes. Of the actual dolphin species, there are 16 different species, with the eared pig being the most well-known. The dolphin is an extremely curious animal and highly loved among humans. Many are fascinated by the charm of the dolphin, and its social way of being in the water – and therefore, unfortunately, many dolphins have been held captive throughout the ages for the famous Dolphin shows.
Facts about the dolphin
|Location:||Africa, South America, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America|
|Life expectancy:||20-25 years|
|Food:||Fish and squid|
|Fun fact:||Dolphins are the only animal, besides man and the bonoboab, that has sex for fun.|
According to DigoPaul, the dolphin is a submarine-shaped large fish with a gray back and white belly. It has it too natural to protect itself from enemies. Like all other whales, the dolphin has no hair on its body, however, it is born with a few eyelashes, but they fall off quickly. Like other whales, the dolphin has a thick layer of fat to stay warm in cold ocean currents. With both its fins and forelegs, however, the lard layer is smaller. Its skin is smooth and feels almost like wet rubber. It can be compared a bit to touching wet rubber boots or a hard-boiled egg without a shell. The dolphin has a long string of pearls of white, uniform teeth. De ca. 88 teeth are good for catching fish and holding the fish in a grip, but they are not good for chewing with.
Dolphins are also available as a pink shape. There is the Indopacific humpback dolphin, which lives in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. There is also the Amazon dolphin which is the largest freshwater dolphin in the world. It weighs an average of 100 kg and is approx. 2.5 meters long. There are many theories as to why the Amazon dolphin in particular has its pink color, but there is still no conclusive evidence for it. One assumption is that it is because they live in fresh water, another theory is based on the fact that it is due to the food they eat. The third and most recognized theory is that the fat layer of the pink dolphin is thinner than that of other dolphins. Furthermore, the blood vessels are closer to the skin, which is why it gets its pink color.
The dolphin is a predator, and thus feeds on fish that you can experience on Sri Lanka trips and trips to Borneo and Malaysia. It feeds mainly on small fish such as rissos, but is also fond of eating different squid species. The dolphin consumes an amount of fish every day that corresponds to 5-10% of its body weight. It gives it enough energy for the whole day. The dolphin uses a special technique to locate the fish. Like the bat, the dolphin remotely measures using echoes. It thus uses communication as a kind of sense of sight. The dolphin also has a very fine sense of touch, which can locate its prey based on currents in the water. Its sense of taste is also of a sensitive nature. The dolphin can taste if there have been other fish in the water, and if there is a mate nearby, or if there is danger ahead. The dolphin does not drink seawater as it is too salty. Its water needs are covered by the fluid in the fish it eats, as well as by fluid that occurs during fat burning.
Dolphins are pregnant for approx. 12 months and usually gives birth to only one young. The dolphin feeds on shallow water, where the commercial dolphin often acts as a “midwife” for the dog dolphin. The kid is approx. 1 meter long when born, and dikes for 12-18 months. Mother and young people are closely linked and live together for the first 6 years. The male does not help to raise the young. Dog vines become sexually mature when they are 5-12 years old. The guys are often older, namely 10-12 years before they reach sexual maturity. The mating is a short session of 10-30 seconds, repeated after a few minutes. On the other hand, the dolphin is very loving before mating. The male and female caress each other, crack and bark, cuddle, plow and pat their jaws against each other. It also happens that the dolphin mates for fun instead of having reproduction as its purpose.
The dolphin is a herd animal where females live in herds with their young. They typically live 12 dolphins together, but shoals of between 50 and 100 dolphins have also been seen. Sexually mature males often live a nomadic life where they switch between herds, live in bachelor groups, or live alone. The hunger groups are extremely helpful and good at working together. They are thus helped when hunting fish or finding partners. Furthermore, they show great empathy for injured members. There have even been stories of dolphins helping shipwrecked people ashore. Dolphins are playful, and some dolphins can even do acrobatic tricks in the air.
The dolphin family has over 36 different species and 4 types of river dolphins. The killer whale is one of the 36 species in the dolphin family. In the family, the most well-known species is the porpoise, and it can be found in gardens all over the world. It gained a special cult status after the film adaptation of Flipper, just as the killer whale has become particularly known as the character Willy. The dolphin is also part of the fish species “whales”. Whales get their own category within fish because this fish species has uteruses and therefore is a mammal. A distinction is made between toothed whales and other types of whales. The dolphin is a toothed whale just like the Danish sea animal “guinea pig”. The dolphin and the guinea pig are thus related to each other, and are both part of the whale family.
Travelers’ questions about the dolphin
When dolphins communicate, it happens that they use whistling sounds. These whistle sounds can make it sound as if they are singing. This is not because they sing to each other, as their language also includes many other sounds. Dolphins also communicate using pulsating sounds. It can almost be described as a kind of crackling, barking, or crackling sounds. The dolphin can make the clicking sounds incredibly fast. At one point, 1148 clicks were recorded in just one second. Among dolphins, body language is also important in relation to their internal communication. Dolphins use the wave splash as communication e.g. by jumping above the water surface and landing in a special way so that it emits a signal. Using special body poses, the dolphin can identify and name other members of the herd.
The dolphin also uses communication to identify its prey. Using a sonar system, echoes are returned to the dolphin. The dolphin can create some very high tones underwater. When this sound frequency hits an object or prey, the sound returns as an echo. From this, the dolphin can calculate the time it takes for the sound to reach back and forth, and thus estimate the distance to the prey. It is the same technique as you know it from the bat.
Is the dolphin intelligent?
There are divided opinions on whether the dolphin is intelligent or not. The reason why many people think dolphins are clever is because in many ways they are exhibited like this in the popular cult films “Flipper” and “Free Willy”. Intelligence is difficult to measure, as knowledge about it is still very limited. However, the dolphin’s intelligence is compared to animals in several ways. The dolphin is i.a. compared in an experiment with goldfish. Goldfish are often considered to be a less intelligent animal, but in fact goldfish are clever enough to “escape” from their bowl of water by jumping out of the bowl. Dolphins, on the other hand, do nothing if caught in a fishing net.
Another way the dolphin’s intelligence is assessed is by comparing its brain size with the rest of the body. In humans, the brain makes up 2% of body weight, while in dolphins it is 0.9 – 1.5%. This is relatively high for an animal. Especially if you compare it to the elephant which has a brain size of 0.2%. It is not possible to say whether there is a connection between brain size and intelligence, yet it is often used as an argument for the dolphin’s intelligence.
Why is the dolphin rumored to be the “killer dolphin”?
The nickname ‘killer dolphin’ may seem a bit exaggerated, but nonetheless, it has got it because it is used for military missions by the US and Russian governments. In the United States, they have a very specific program for the purpose called the US Navy Marine Mammal Program ‘in San Diego, which includes 75 dolphins. Dolphins are used because their biosonar is specially developed. Biosonar is the dolphin’s way of orienting itself. Here it emits sounds that come back in the form of a kind of echoes that the dolphin can navigate by. It is not entirely known how the dolphin is used for military action, but assumptions are made that the dolphin is used to seek out and destroy enemy submarines, ships and the like, via specially trained kamikaze methods. Furthermore, it is assumed that the dolphin is used to find sea mines or injured divers.
What does the dolphin do when it sleeps?
Dolphins, like humans, depend on having to breathe every now and then. It needs it when it sleeps. If dolphins become completely unconscious during sleep – just as when humans fall into deep sleep – they will not be able to breathe. It also means that researchers have studied the dolphin’s sleep rhythm. Here they have found that the dolphin’s two halves of the brain sleep in shifts, so that it is always in some kind of consciousness, even when it is sleeping. It does this to make sure that during sleep it is able to breathe, but also to have the senses sharpened in case predators should approach. The dolphin’s biggest enemy is larger sharks, and in rare cases orcas. Dolphins defend themselves by torpedoing their enemies.