Dolphins are sea mammals that arguably have the closest spiritual, intellectual and social link to humans of all sea creatures. Many people have said if they could come back as an animal they would choose to be a dolphin. Like otters, dolphins are regarded as intelligent and fun loving animals. In some cases this is a true, but they can also be aggressive and unpredictable and their habits and behavior are far from understood. Dolphins, porpoises and whales are members of mammalian Cetacean family. There are 83 cetacean species. They include dolphins, porpoises, pilot whales, bottle nose whales and killer whales. The 37 species of dolphins (32 sea-going species, 3 river species and killer whales). There are six species of porpoise. Porpoises are distinguished from dolphins in having teeth that are flat, like chisels, instead of round, like pegs. Dolphins have conical teeth, a defined beak, a pronounced bulbous forehead, a more streamlined body, and a curved dorsal fin while porpoises have spade-shaped teeth, a rounded head and triangular dorsal fins. They are also generally smaller than dolphins.
We don’t know because no one has given them an intelligence test! Most scientists believe that dolphins are on a level with chimpanzees and dogs. Dolphins can learn to perform certain actions. They learn best when actions are broken into small steps and they are given food or other rewards.
The structure of dolphin groups (also called herds or pods) is more like that of elephants than humans. In killer whales the social group is formed by a female and her calves — even if they have grown to adults. The fathers of the calves do not live with the pod. We do not know what the social structure is for many kinds of dolphins.
No, all dolphins are not endangered. Neither the bottle nose dolphin nor the killer whale are endangered. However, several of the river dolphins are very endangered because humans have destroyed their habitat. If we humans don’t take care of the earth, many more species of dolphins will become endangered in the future.
Just like dogs, cats, and other mammals — by using sound, vision, touch, and taste. Dolphins don’t have the ability to smell, however. Scientists do not think that dolphins have a language like humans. Each dolphin can make a unique signature whistle that may help individual dolphins recognize each other, but it may just help a dolphin know that some other dolphin is nearby. Scientists don’t know for sure.
Dolphins are among the most vocal animals. They communicate by using body language and at least 30 different sounds and vocalizations. Members of a group can communicate with one another of large expanse of open ocean. They can hear each over of at least half a mile. There are still a lot basic things about dolphin communication that scientists don’t understand: for example how they synchronize themselves when the leap in formation.
Dolphins use unique whistles to identify themselves and make sounds to express excitement and moods and exchange messages that help keep groups together and warn others of danger. Individual identity is practiced by humans and dolphins but few other members of the animal kingdom.
Dolphins appear to use body language and non-verbal communication. They touch, nudge and stroke one another in a way that seems to convey meaning. On biologist discovered that young Atlantic spotted dolphins let their mothers know everything is okay by pressing against their backs.
What do dolphins eat?
Mostly a variety of fish and squid, depending on what part of the ocean they live in. The bottle nose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon eat mostly fish because there aren’t many squid in the lagoon. A dolphin’s cone-shaped teeth interlock to catch fish. Their teeth are not used to chew, and they swallow their food whole.
We don’t know how fast most dolphins swim but bottle nose dolphins typically swim at 3 to 7 miles per hour. They can go over 20 miles per hour when they work hard. The body shape of a dolphin helps it swim fast. A dolphin’s body is shaped like a tube that is pointed at both ends. This streamlining helps the water flow over the dolphin’s body as it swims.
Dolphins swim up to 100 miles a day, jump 15 feet straight up, and can reach speeds up to 20 mph for short bursts. Some boaters have claimed they have seen dolphins traveling over 40 mph. Scientists say that in these cases the dolphins were probably getting a boost from the boat’s bow wave
How do dolphins help humans:
Dolphins are very advanced socially and understanding their level of empathy and parameters of intelligence is a very complex subject for a human’s ways of thinking. The same thing has been reported for whales. And it’s also true for whale sharks. There are, in fact, currently a couple of videos on “YouTube” featuring a whale shark seemingly interceding to protect a human from other sharks. Was it or was it just fortuitously in the way? Was the human hiding behind it and it only thought that the aggressive movements of the other sharks were
directed against it, so it was really defending itself and wasn’t even aware of the person? Dolphins are naturally inimical to sharks – they don’t like them for a lot of reasons, from their stealing dolphins’ food to their trying to make dolphins into food – so it is quite possible that all they are doing is protecting themselves from a shark and the human is an incidental beneficiary of their actions. As to why they do it, who knows? BUT, there is a wonderful scene in the old movie “Day of the Dolphin”, starring George C. Scott and a couple of my cousin’s dolphins and shot at his dolphin sanctuary. Scott is showing off for some female how he’s taught the dolphins to recognize human speech and to respond in their dolphin-ques version. The questions are directed to “Fay”, the lead, male dolphin.
Dolphins have helped people in many ways, and there is a large number of stories about dolphins helping people since the ancient Greece.
Sometimes, dolphins have helped humans in the ocean by protecting them from shark attacks which are usually done swimming around the person and making sharks go away.
Other anecdotes relate how boats avoided wreckage by following dolphins during thick fog conditions until they managed to pass through dangerous waters.