What are Dolphins

Dolphins are aquatic mammals, which live under the water. That is spread across the world and have different species. Dolphins can range in size from 5ft. to 7ft. long and 50-Kilogram. The males are usually larger than females and they have a streamlined body with two limbs that are modified into flippers. The flippers are not as flexible as seals but some dolphins can travel at the speed of 29 KM/H for a short distance. They have conical shaped teeth which are normally used to catch their prey. Along with all of this, they travel in pods. By traveling in pods, they are protected from other predators

Dolphins have developed hearing which is adapted enough that it can be used both in water and air. Which makes them enough adaptable to survive even if they are blind.

pods
Dolphins traveling in pods to protect themselves from predators.

Some Dolphins have thick skin and layers of fat to keep them warm in the cold water, it helps those species to go deep in water. Due to their large social nature, they usually prefer to hunt in a group also known as pods. Although many dolphins are widespread, most of the species prefer the warmer waters of the tropic zones. A group of Dolphins is known as a diddle and witnessing a diddle is a common phenomenon.

Anatomy of Dolphins

Dolphins have torpedo-shaped bodies and generally non-flexible necks. The limbs are modified into flippers, a tail fin with a bulbous head. Dolphins skulls have small eye orbits. Dolphins have a two-chambered stomach that is similar in structure to terrestrial carnivores. Their conical teeth help them to catch swift prey such as fish, squid, or large mammals like seals.

The skin of a dolphin is known to have a smooth texture and is without hair and glands, except mammary glands. The skin is made up of two parts the epidermis and the blubber. The two parts of the skin help them in protection, fat storage, heat regulation, and sensory perception.

water
Bottlenose dolphin under the water.

Behavior

Dolphins are regarded as one of Earth’s most intelligent animals. They are highly social animals, often living in pods of dozen of individuals. The size of the pods usually structures and size the podes locations, and the type of species. The pods are known to merge at points where the food is in abundance amount also known as Superpod.

Dolphins are known to make strong bonds which include stay with injured or ill individuals, and help them breathe if they are having breathing difficulty. The communication between dolphins is done by using a variety of clicks, whistle-like sounds, and other vocalizations. The interesting part is that dolphins can also talk in a non-verbal language which means by touch and posturing.

They display culture, something long believed to be unique to humans. In May 2005, a discovery in Australia found Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins teaching their young to use tools. They cover their snouts with sponges to protect them from foraging. More interestingly this knowledge is transferred by mothers to daughters, unlike other primates where knowledge is generally passed on to both sexes. The usage of sponges to protect mouths is a learned behavior. It was discovered that the river dolphins in Brazil, where some male dolphins use weeds and sticks as part of sexual display. It is another representation of learned behavior among dolphins that is uncommon.

The resemblance to human emotions

dolphins
Playful dolphins having fun.

They are known to be caregiving between fellows and even for members of different species as it is recorded in various species. The examples can be such as trying to save weakened fellows or female pilot whales holding up dead calves for long periods.

Dolphins engage in acts of aggression towards each other. The older a male dolphin is, the more likely his body is to be covered with bite scars. Male dolphins can get into disputes over companions and females. Acts of aggression can become so intense that targeted dolphins sometimes go into exile after losing a fight.

Dolphins frequently leap above the water surface, this being done for various reasons. When traveling jumping out of water can actually save the dolphin energy as there is less friction while in the air. This type of travel is known as Porpoising. Several other reasons include orientation, social displays, fighting, non-verbal communication, entertainment, and attempting to dislodge parasites.

Intelligence

Dolphins are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme, and grieve. Earlier these symptoms were only shown in humanoids. Dolphins are considered to be Self-aware due to their intelligence level although it is yet to be confirmed.

Sleeping

Generally, dolphins sleep with only one brain hemisphere in slow-wave sleep at a time. This helps them maintaining enough consciousness to breathe and to watch for possible predators and other threats. The sleep stages at an early stage of sleeping can occur simultaneously in both hemispheres.

Military and Therapy

A number of militaries have employed dolphins for various purposes from finding mines to rescuing lost or trapped humans.

Dolphins are an increasingly popular choice of animal-assisted therapy for psychological problems and developmental disabilities.

In Conclusioin

Dolphins are magnificent creatures and are on earth for a long period of time as they were mentioned in many ancient cultures and stories. They are intelligent enough to create their own tools and techniques. It’s been said that they are self-aware but it is still to be confirmed.


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