Apparently, fish are the most popular pets, so to speak, in the world, because of the sheer amount of them that are classified as pets and are living in peoples aquariums. But there are fishes, that actually aren’t fishes that can’t just live in someones aquarium, but nonetheless are incredibly popular – dolphins. Dolphins are fascinating, seemingly friendly and intelligent creatures that hide a lot of secrets from us. So, let’s delve deep into those secrets. Here’s 15 Unbelievable Facts About Dolphins.
- There are nearly 40 species of dolphins (including killer whales) in the world today. Most of them swim in the shallow waters in tropical and warm ocean waters and there are 5 species that live in rivers.
- Dolphins range in average sizes from 1.7 m (5.6 ft) long and 50 kg (110 lb) Maui’s dolphin to the 9.5 m (31 ft) and 10 t (11 short tons) killer whale.
- Dolphins are carnivores that mostly eat fish, squid and crustaceans. An average 118 kg or 260 pound dolphin needs to eat about 15 kg or 33 pounds of fish a day.
- Dolphins don’t sleep like we do. You see, they are mammals, not fish, and they can’t breathe underwater. So what they do is take naps, a lot of naps, for an average length of 15 to 20 minutes, several times a day. And when they nap, half of their brain is asleep while the other half is awake, so that they could quickly wake up if in danger of being eaten by a predator.
- Dolphins don’t drink water, because they get enough of it from food.
- Dolphins are very social creatures and they live, hunt and even play in groups of, often, 1000 or more members.
- Even though they do have teeth, they swallow their food without chewing it.
- Dolphins can use their noses to kill sharks. And often do.
- Dolphins are incredibly intelligent and are actually similar to apes in that regard. Their larger brains have actually developed similar to us, humans. They can learn, play, socialize, and grieve just like us.
- Dolphins have very smooth skin to reduce drag while swimming and their outer skin layer can actually fully regenerate in two hours.
- The average life expectancy of a dolphin is 25 years , but, if the conditions are right, they can live up to 50 years, with the oldest ever recorded dolphin, kept in captivity, lived to be 61 years of age.
- Dolphins communicate with each other by making noises like clicks and whistles. “Clicking” helps them find prey, and whistling- communicate with other dolphins. They also produce loud burst-pulse sounds, when excited or aggressive, to scare off nearby sharks, for example. Females can also produce powerful burst-pulse sounds to reprimand their children, called calves.
- Every dolphin has its own unique whistle, which is used as names to help communicate to and identify different dolphins.
- Most female dolphins spend 9 to 17 months pregnant and give birth to only one dolphin, called calf, who is born tail first, rather than head first.
- Emmy award-winning filmmaker John Downer was filming his two-part miniseries Dolphins: Spy in the Pod , when he saw that bottlenose dolphins would gently chew on a pufferfish and then pass it to another dolphin and they would all get “high” on the toxin that pufferfishes produce. So yeah, they seem to like getting high.
And that’s it, folks. Dolphins truly are fascinating creatures with amazing inteligence, communication skills and various physiological characteristics. And, it’s important to note, there’s still a lot that we don’t know about them. And that’s it for the 15 Unbelievable Facts About Dolphins.