This page is filled with information about dolphin anatomy, reproduction, food and habitat. You will also learn about
their senses, communication, intelligence and about dolphins in captivity. If you want to learn
more about a particular subject, just click on the link above the
You can also scroll to the bottom of the page for links to a list of
dolphin species, dolphin facts, dolphin resources anddolphin pictures.
"dolphin" refers to the kind of whales known as toothed whales.
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There are also different types
such as oceanic dolphins, coastal dolphins, river dolphins and dolphins
that bear the word "whale" in their common name despite the fact that
taxonomically they belong to the group of dolphins such as "Killer
dolphins are also whales, their anatomy incudes all of the above.
because they use echolocation
much more than large whales (if the large
whales use any), dolphins have a well developed melon inside
their forehead. It sits in front of their brain, just above the beak.
This melon produses the clicking sound which dolphins use in their
The vast majority of
dolphins live in salt water (marine habitat). Some
species, and also some individuals within some species, have chosen
coastal or river habitat.
The waters in the coastal habitat can be
brackish (estuarine) around the river mouths where rivers bring fresh
water into the ocean. The species that live in rivers, have adapted to
Dolphins use sound for
two different reasons - to "see" around (echolocation),
and to communicate to each other. They have quite a complex collection
of clicks and whistles, by which the "talk" to each other.
There are different whistles such as
contact calls, and signature whistles, which are used to identify
sounds, they communicate by touching each other, and also by jumping
of the water (both visual body language and sounds of the splashes).
learn tricks and play. Some do ok in
captivity and enjoy human contact. However the subject is controversial
as some species, particularly killer whales, don't do so
well. I recommend watching the movie "Blackfish" which tells the story of
the frustration of Killer Whales in captivity.