Interesting Facts about Dolphins

Swim With Dolphins

With so much to know about dolphins, it is often the fun facts that people really enjoy and they are really good for school projects. Do you want to know how dolphins sleep? The fact is dolphins cannot actually sleep because they need to be conscious to breathe. Instead of going into a deep sleep where they would suffocate themselves, they often left half of their brain sleep at one time and then the other half at another time. In this way, dolphins are able to "sleep" about eight hours per day.

Here are more interesting facts about dolphins.

Dolphins as we know are predators when it comes to fish and other foods. But how much do they really eat per day? That really depends on the season and how much food is available in the area in which they live. If they are in an area where fish with high fat content are readily available then they may eat less of mackerel and herring then if they were to just eat squid. So to get the same calorie intake they need to eat more squid. On average they eat between 4% and 9% of its body weight in fish so if they weigh about 250kg they will need to eat about 10 to 22.5 kg per day of fish.

Another common question that people ask is about how long dolphins live. The maximum age that dolphins live is between 40 and 50 years old which is much longer than people expect. Although it is true that depending on where they live they may only live to about 25 to 30 years. There are some places such as the Indian Ocean where they only live between 10 and 14 years on average. The warmer the water the longer they will live.

Another interesting fact on dolphins is how deep they can dive. In an amazing study one bottlenose dolphin named Tuffy was shown to dive as far as 300 meters! Most of the dolphins do not dive this deeply though and live in fairly shallow water. In Florida for example, most dolphins live in water as shallow as 2 meters. There are some other dolphin species such as a pilot whale that can dive to at least 600 meters and a sperm whale that can dive as far as 900 meters, but most dolphins as we know them are not able to dive this deeply.

Finally, one last burning question that leads to an interesting fact about dolphins is whether or not they drink salt water. It is assumed that dolphins drink ocean water because they are in it all day long. However, the water is much too salty for them to drink, much like with humans. If they drank it they would actually use more water trying to get rid of it. Most of their water comes from their food such as fish and squid, but some of their water comes from their fat which they metabolize to make the water release into their own system. They actually don't need much water because their kidneys adapt to retaining the water they do get from food and their own fat.


Interesting facts about dolphins

1. Dolphins are mammals; they nurse their young under the water from mammary glands situated within mammary slits. The baby folds its tongue lengthwise to form a straw and the mother squirts milk into its mouth.

2. Dolphins can swim up to 300 m. below the surface of the ocean, although they are mainly shallow divers.

3. Dolphins can stay under water up to 15 minutes although the average dive lasts only a few minutes.

4. Dolphins use a technique called echolocation to find food and navigate. They produce a series of clicking sounds which echo back off objects in the water, much like bats which use echolocation to catch insects in the dark. Dolphins also have the ability to stun fish with the clicks they make, making hunting easier.

5. Dolphins are social beings which live in groups and cooperate among each other for activities like getting food and calf rising.

6. There are 32 species of ocean dolphins and 5 species of river dolphins.

7. The largest dolphin is the "killer whale" (orca), which can grow to 6.1 meters long.

8. The most well known dolphin is the "bottlenose dolphin" which can grow to 2.5-2.8 meters.

9. Dolphins are warm-blooded and their internal temperature is around 36 degrees. Dolphins have a thin layer of blubber below their skin, insulating them from the surrounding water.

10. The average bottlenose dolphin brain weighs 1500-1600 grams, while average human brain weighs 1200-1300g.

11. Dolphins can make a unique signature whistle that may help individual dolphins recognize each other or perform any other kind of communication still unknown.

12. Bottlenose dolphins can swim 5 to 12 kilometers per hour, although they can reach up to 32 km/h