Dolphins. What a beautiful and noble animals, right? We can easily recognize them by their small teeth and curved mouth, which give them a permanent smile. Moreover, there are 36 dolphin species, found in every ocean. However, some of them can be found in rivers or freshwater. Did you know they can develop a speed of 18 mph?

dolphins

How do dolphins look?

These aquatic mammals have torpedo-shaped bodies with generally non-flexible necks. Limbs are modified into flippers, a tail fin, and bulbous heads. Thus, dolphin skulls have small eye orbits, long snouts, and eyes placed on the sides of its head; they lack external ear flaps. They can grow up to 6 feet and weigh 110 pounds. The largest dolphin, the orca, can grow over 30 feet!

dolphins

Feeding.

There are various feeding methods among and within species, some apparently exclusive to a single population. Fish and squid are the main food, although the killer whale and the orca also feed on other marine mammals. Orcas on occasion also hunt whale species larger than themselves.

How do dolphins communicate?

Well, these intelligent animals are capable of making a broad range of sounds using nasal air-sacs located just below the blowhole. There are three categories of sounds: frequency modulated whistles, burst-pulsed sounds, and clicks. The click rate increases when approaching an object of interest. Dolphin echolocation clicks are among the loudest sounds made by marine animals.

Jumping and playing.

Dolphins frequently leap above the water surface, this being done for various reasons. When traveling, jumping can save the dolphin energy as there is less friction while in the air. Dolphins show various types of playful behavior, often including objects, self-made bubble rings, other dolphins or other animals.

Reproduction.

Unlike sharks, dolphins are warm-blooded, and they nurse their young. Dolphin mating happens belly to belly; though many species engage in lengthy foreplay. The actual act is usually brief, but may be repeated several times. Dolphins have more than one mate, and generally produce a single offspring that will stay with the mother for up to six years, depending on the species.

Have you ever swam with these magnificent animals?

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