Information on Dolphins

Here is some interesting information on dolphins.

What Is a Dolphin and What Kinds of Dolphins Are there?

Bottlenose Dolphins
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A dolphin is a kind of whale - it is one kind of toothed whales.

There are also different kinds of dolphins 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.

What Do Dolphins Eat?

Bottle-Nosed Dolphin, Feeding on Fish, UK
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While large baleen whales eat very small animals such as krill and even zooplankton, dolphins eat larger animals such as fish and squid.

Some dolphins, such as killer whales eat even larger animals such as penguins, seals, sea lions, and they even attack large, dangerous sharks.

What Is Dolphins Habitat?

Common Dolphin Swimming, California
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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 freshwater habitat.

How Do Dolphins Sense the World?

Spotted Dolphins, Hawaii
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The eyes of dolphins are relatively well developed compared to other whales, but they still don't see as well as do land animals. Because sounds travel much better in the water, dolphins and whales use hearing much more than eyesight. Other senses they use are touching and taste, while their sense of smell is not very good - well, you cannot smell under water ;-).

How Do Dolphins Communicate?

Pacific Spotted Dolphins, Hawaii
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Dolphins use sound for two different reasons - to "see" around (echolocation), and to communicate to each other. They have quite a complex collection of different sounds, by which the "talk" to each other. In addition to sounds they communicate by touching each other, and also by jumping out of the water (both visual body language and sounds of the splashes).

Information on Dolphins Intelligence and Friendliness

Dolphins, Sea World, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
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Dolphins are smart, curious and friendly animals.

Like many smaller whales also do, they approach boats and do some human-watching.

They can also get quite attached to humans and build a bond where a wild dolphin keeps visiting, then disappears and later returns with a calf.

They are known to help humans in shark attacks, and push drowning humans to shallow waters.

They are eager to learn tricks and play. They do well in captivity and enjoy human contact, however the subject is a bit controversial as some species, particularly killer whales, sometimes show their frustration to the point where they have killed their trainers.

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