If you’re reading this, we have actually a many in common. Favor you, we know there’s something really special about dolphins.

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Because you share ours fascination v dolphins, we asked our naval biologists to ring up some exceptional dolphin truth so girlfriend can fully appreciate why dolphins are such an exceptional species.

Once you review these, you"ll have everything you should know about dolphins, and just a little bit more.

Here are few of the tiny known dolphin truth you’ll learn:

Which types of dolphin swims sideways.How dolphin communicate and also locate prey.Which species can weigh 11 tons and also which ones only weigh 350 pounds.Which types have hair and also which ones are bright pink.

Let"s dive in!

Are dolphin Fish?


Dolphins may swim through the water as gracefully as any type of fish, but they space not fish. Dolphins are mammals. This puts lock in the ranking of other renowned marine mammals such as whales, seals, and manatees. For this reason whyare dolphin mammals? They:

are warm-bloodedbreathe with lungs, no gillsgive birth to live youngproduce milk for their younghave body hair (doesn’t look like it, but they do!)

Warm Blooded

Warm-blooded method that your body is maybe to control its very own temperature, for this reason they stay warm even when the water temperatures roughly them space cold. Few of their indigenous environments, such as the waters the the north Pacific Ocean, deserve to get an extremely chilly. In this places, being warm-blooded is a large advantage because that survival. Gift warm-blooded additionally makes dolphins and other cetaceans less prone to infections and other health conditions that impact cold-blooded species.

Lungs, not Gills

Another main feature of marine mammals is the they have lungs, not gills. Dolphins, like whales, have to periodically concerned the surface ar to replenish their air supply. They have blowholes that they close while diving, and then open up at the surface ar for air.

Marine mammals have actually also adjusted in part special ways to grow in an aquatic environment. Because that instance, dolphins exchange 80% the the waiting in your lungs with each breath, while human beings are only qualified of exchanging 17%. Marine mammals additionally have a better capacity for oxygen warehouse in your lungs, blood, and also muscles. Every one of this creates a an ext efficient usage of the oxygen in their bodies and also is what enables many species to dive for prolonged periods that time.

Live Birth

Dolphins offer birth come live young and do not lay eggs. They can get pregnant on median every two to 4 years once they"re mature, although some types can have actually 5-7 years in between births. Dolphin calves often tend to remain close to their mothers for a few years prior to venturing turn off on your own. However, some calves will remain with their mothers for a lifetime.


Along with gestating their young, dolphins produce milk to nourish them. It might seem tricky because that calves come nurse underwater, however dolphins have adapted some special physiological traits to work approximately this issue.

Body Hair

Did you recognize that dolphins begin life with body hair? newborn calves have hairs on your rostrum (their beak) that fall out quickly after birth This is thought to it is in an evolutionary remnant from when they live on land.

Communication is a huge part of exactly how dolphins socialize and hunt. They have the ability to echolocate through a collection of clicks, allowing them to discover other dolphin or comparable species and also prey even in the low-light problems of the ocean. They have the right to do more, too. Walk you recognize that dolphin echolocation permits them to detect operation implanted metal in swim humans? The human being body is comprised of about 75% water, and once in the water, we provide a prime framework for echolocation. This is how dolphins room able to discern the the steel is denser than human being flesh, which is largely water.

Dolphins also have a facility method of communicating with each other. From an outside perspective, dolphins may seem to connect much prefer humans. However, researchers room still investigating both exactly how dolphins communicate and what info they space able to happen to each other.

Despite doing not have hands, dolphins room adept at using tools. Because that instance, one of their more dedicated tricks is to lug a sponge in ~ the end of their beak, likewise know together a rostrum. This acts prefer padding, protecting castle from sharp rocks together they dig with the seafloor for food.

Zoological facilities, aquariums, and also other places, such as Dolphins Plus, give people a way to learn much more about these exceptional animals. The educated professionals who work there deserve to share general information, threats and also conservation efforts, and the latest research findings on just how these pets cognitively function, communicate, and adapt. These locations are both funny for the the town hall public and offer a good learning experience.


One of the fascinating things around these maritime mammals is their complex methods that communication. So just how do dolphin communicate? There space three main ways: whistles, echolocation, and social communication.

Dolphins communicate through an ext than simply clicks and whistles. Castle can also slap the water"s surface ar with their tail or bodies, which is official termed breaching.

Dolphins deserve to make squeaks, buzzes, whistles, clicks, and also a vast array of other crazy noises.. These whistles deserve to be heard by others of the species from mile away. Your whistle repertoire can adjust as they acquire older, and dolphins who bond with one another can learn each others signature whistles and also often copy every other’s whistles.

Click top top the links below to listen to the whistles that Atlantic bottlenose dolphin at dolphins Plus.

Listen come JulieListen come LeoListen come NicaListen to SamantaListen to Zoe


Echolocation serves for both communication and for navigation. Echolocation is seeing v sound, much like sonar top top a submarine. The dolphin emits a sound and then listens for the echo as that sound bounces turn off of objects, these sound tide travel earlier to the dolphin. Dolphins room able to obtain much an ext information the end of the sound 보다 humans. This contains the size and shape that objects or obstructions near them and even what product they are made of.

There room dozens of types of dolphins and each has actually their own distinct habitats, appearance, and behaviors. Countless dolphins room grey in color, some species have miscellaneous patterns of black and also white, and a few are also pink.

In terms of behavior, all varieties of dolphins are fairly gregarious. In fact, plenty of dolphin species can kind groups of over 1,000 individuals, well-known as super pods!

Dolphins come in every shapes and also sizes, and also each types has your own unique features.

Here"s exactly how to recognize a couple of of the most striking and unusual dolphin species, back we’re warning you right now that we’re saving the most popular species for last!

The Amazon flow Dolphin

You may not expect to discover a dolphin in freshwater areas, yet this types thrives in the Amazon River. It"s additionally called the boto or bufeo dolphin and also its skin turns pink as it matures.

The Ganges river Dolphin

Here"s an additional entry come the perform of freshwater dolphins. Together you"d guess from the name, this types can be found in the Ganges river in India. It has actually a unique habit of swim sideways, enabling it come sidle as much as food.

Commerson"s Dolphin

This striking, extremely social dolphin varieties is discovered off the coast of Argentina and also in components of the Indian Ocean. It"s finest known for a panda-like black and white color pattern.

Risso"s Dolphin

Risso"s dolphins love depth waters, where they seek out a diet the squid and other deepwater fish species. However, your favorite food fights earlier and older members of this species may have a mottled sample of fight scars from squid attacks.

Killer Whales

Did you recognize that killer whales room members that the dolphin family? this animals, additionally commonly referred to as orcas, space the world"s biggest dolphins. How huge are they? Larger individuals can prosper over 30 feet long and also weigh 11 tons. They typically have a bolder black and also white pattern similar to Commerson"s dolphin. Lock use several of the most innovative and unusual interactions of all dolphin species.

Spinner Dolphins

These happy dolphins have earned your name, in part, for the high jumping spins castle take the end of the water. This aerial acrobatic tricks do them a favorite among dolphin-watchers. They are uncovered throughout the world, to like warm and also shallow waters.

The Short-Finned Pilot Whale

Once you"ve seen among these members the the dolphin family, you"ll never forget them. The short-finned pilot whale has an unusual, squared-off head and lacks the lengthy beak of most dolphin species. Pilot whales are an extremely social and travel in ford of up to 50 members.

The Hourglass Dolphin

This shy, elusive dolphin varieties share a comparable black and white color pattern to killer whales, but they space a fraction of the size. Castle are seldom seen by humans as hourglass dolphins are among the couple of dolphin varieties who favors the Antarctic area.

The striped Dolphin

Although the bottlenose is the most famed dolphin species, there is a good chance you"ve seen a stripe dolphin in activity at one aquatic center. These attractively striped pets can live in very large groups, and they perform sophisticated acrobatics once they leap into the air.

The Bottlenose Dolphin

We conserved the bottlenose dolphin because that last for two reasons. It’s one of the most renowned species. Flipper, the world"s most famous dolphin, was a bottlenose dolphin.

The other reason is they host a special place in our hearts, since most the dolphin at dolphin Plus space Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.


These majestic pets are dark grey and, as you"d expect from the name, have a short and also blunt rostrum. Bottlenose dolphin live transparent the world in warmer waters.

They have actually a number of interesting features ranging from exactly how they look to just how they interact with every other.

Anatomy and also Appearance

Bottlenose dolphins room varying shades that grey with a lighter ship (counter-shading), which helps conceal them indigenous predators. They have actually a systematized body that enables them to swim up to 20 mph. The typical length for an adult bottlenose dolphin can range between 6 to end 12 feet and also they can weigh over a 1,000 pounds.

Behavior and also Diet

The bottlenose dolphin"s diet varies relying on the region where they live. These sent predators generally eat fish, yet can additionally hunt other maritime life such together squid. Dolphins have actually some innovative ways to catch a meal. Some of their tactics include herding prey into muddy areas and even catching leaping fish out of the air. They tend to hunting in a group, which renders the foraging procedure very effective.



Dolphins prosper in both tropical and also cooler, much more temperate waters. Humans have encountered dolphin ford both near shore and also in deep offshore waters prefer the Indian Ocean. Part dolphin groups stay in one area because that a life time while others migrate.

Dolphin Calves



When your calves room born they frequently weigh approximately 30-40 pounds, contrasted to full-grown dolphins that deserve to weigh end a 1,000 pounds. That"s rather a difference! Bottlenose dolphins begin out rather dark in color, lightening together they mature.

Threats and also Challenges

Dolphins space under hazard worldwide, largely human generated threats. 2 of the biggest issues are entanglement in fishing gear and also nets, and also pollution. Dolphins often pursue the very same fish species that advertising fishing ships space hunting and also may acquire accidentally recorded in their nets. Lock can likewise get tangled in discarded ropes and also gear, resulting in a far-reaching amount of marine mammal deaths every year. Finally, the human-created air pollution that is influence the world"s oceans is causing a wide variety of problems for dolphins, varying from diseases to difficulty finding food.

Mating Habits

Dolphins carry out not mate for life. Dolphin reproduction often requires putting on displays including posturing and also vocalizations to attract a mate. Dolphins gestate for 12 months and calves are typically born tail first, and also they are mainly cared because that by the mothers and other related and also unrelated females.

Dolphin habitats deserve to be space found around the world, native tropical to temperate regions. Back they room warm-blooded, they often tend to avoid oceans near the Arctic and also Antarctic. The bottlenose dolphin, one of the most famous species, prefers water in between 50 and 90 levels Fahrenheit. However, each types has its own preferences.

Dolphin habitats have the right to be uncovered everywhere from open seas to coastlines to river basins. Some species are migratory and also adapt well to transforms in their environment. They can move to areas in their temperature selection that offer adequate numbers the fish. Other varieties are very closely tied come one place and come under danger when humans begin occurring the area.

The Pacific Ocean

This is home to several varieties including bottlenose, spinner, and also Pacific white-sided dolphins. Dolphins that live in the deep ocean are far better adapted to tolerating cold water than their shore-loving counterparts.

The Atlantic Ocean

Here you"ll find the wanted home that bottlenose, humpback, and also spotted dolphins. These varieties have been found from Nova Scotia come Patagonia and everywhere in between.

The Indian Ocean

The Indian ocean is the native atmosphere for large numbers that bottlenose, spinner, and also common dolphins. Off the coastline of eastern Africa, you"ll likewise find the extremely endangered humpback dolphin.


World Wildlife Organization

Rivers and also Seas

Dolphins are ideal known because that living in the ocean, but there are additionally endangered freshwater varieties. Did you know that there room dolphins in the Amazon River? The Amazon river dolphin is comparatively small, weighing as much as 350 pounds, and also adults are bright pink.


Despite life throughout the world, dolphin are right now facing a many threats. Climate change, pollution consisting of trash and also debris, and also aggressive fishing operations space impacting all species of dolphins. This is why maritime mammal facilities are important for protecting and researching these animals. They space able to educate the public about these amazing mammals, promote ecological stewardship, and also give scientists an chance to understand the species more in depth.

Are dolphin endangered? Yes, there space dozens of types of dolphin that room endangered and also now extinct. Some of the most threatened varieties are the ones the come into contact with people most frequently. This has the Yangtze river dolphin, the Maui dolphin, the Ganges river dolphin, and also the short-beaked usual dolphin. Each of these varieties face far-ranging challenges for your future.

The Yangtze flow dolphin is no officially thought about extinct, yet there have actually been no confirmed sightings for almost 20 years. What may have happened? This types could have been a victim of human breakthrough including:

bycatch fishing (when the dolphin is accidentally captured in a fishing net)injuries from fishhooks and also linesboat collisionsthe rising contamination levels in the flow itself

The Maui dolphin, uncovered off the coast of new Zealand, is a highly endangered varieties with (an estimated) less than 100 members left. The species decline is early to many issues, among which is the they are really slow breeders. Many dolphins reproduce an typical of every pair of years, yet for this species, it"s 6-7 years. They likewise face threats to their habitats and also food sources.

The Ganges flow dolphin is checked out in India, Nepal, and also Bangladesh. Since it resides in several of the many populated areas of the world, this varieties is hit difficult by person impact. Some significant threats incorporate river pollution, lowered levels of flow water, and dam building.

The short-beaked typical dolphin is found in the Mediterranean in decreasing numbers. These colorful animals are threatened by fishing accidents and the boosting pollution and also trash structure up in the Mediterranean Sea.

How deserve to you help? Even little changes girlfriend make deserve to have a large impact top top the future of dolphins in the world. This include:

reducing the pollution and also household waste you producepractice recyclingreduce carbon emissionsfollow marine-friendly regulations once out on her boatsupport private and governmental preservation programsstay educated on dolphins and environmental issues

Most the the time, dolphins are not dangerous. Some are friendly and curious when others are skittish and also avoid human being contact. However, don"t forget the dolphins space wild animals and also can it is in unpredictable.

Are you interested in swimming through dolphins? Don"t execute this in the wild; evaluate them native a distance. However, if you want this experience, you can go to a maritime facility and have a safe encounter there.

Some do"s and also don"ts that watching dolphin in the wild include:

Do no feed wild dolphins. It teaches lock to be dependent top top humans, can attract them right into dangerous areas along the shore, and encourages bad habits.

If you see someone feeding dolphin in the wild, report them to the authorities. They may think they"re helping, yet they"re causing more harm in the long run.Do no touch or pet dolphins, even if lock come close. Remain at a safe distance.If you want to see dolphins native an aircraft, examine with the firm ahead of time to make sure they stay at least 1,000 feet above the water to prevent disorienting the animals.Never usage a drone to take photo of a dolphin from above.Stay quiet and avoid according to noises. A startled dolphin may finish up be separate from their pod.Don"t litter unused bait into the water.Discard undesirable or rubbish fishing present safely. Girlfriend can additionally fish through specially designed dissolving hooks instead of the stainless stole varieties.



This last allude is really important. Fishing lines, fish hooks, and discarded netting are among the bigger threats to dolphins. Even if the animal manages to free itself, the resulting wounds tempt predators and also leave them delicate to infection.


Dolphins and humans have had a long background together, from old times once fishermen and also sailors watched ford of dolphin leap out of the water alongside your ships. Nowadays these beautiful pets are facing numerous challenges and also threats to your habitats. These include:

ocean and river pollutionchanging s temperaturesdifficulty recognize preydangerous interactions with fishermen and also boats

Humanity still has a many to find out from and around these marine mammals. Precisely how intelligent space they? exactly how did lock evolve? What"s the future because that these species? this are essential questions that will take more study come answer.

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That"s why responsible research and interaction is for this reason important. If you desire to support dolphins, start at home by walking green and also reducing waste. Meanwhile, if you want to have actually a dolphin encounter, execute a tiny research very first to make certain you"re working v an ethical company. Swimming v the dolphins have the right to be a wonderful, even life-changing experience, yet should never be excellent in the wild. Instead, work with a company that deserve to coordinate this and also looks out for both your and the dolphin"s well-being.