Dolphins are unique and amazing, intellectually developed creatures. There are myths about their high level of intelligence, but, unfortunately, even scientists cannot fully solve their mystery. Some researchers make very bold claims that dolphins are the most intelligent animals on earth. To World Day for the Protection of Marine Mammals we offer you a selection of interesting facts about amazing creatures – dolphins.

  1. Dolphins are predators that eat an average of 15 kilograms of fish per day. Their diet is very diverse, but shrimp and squid are their favorite dishes. Since dolphins eat a lot, their digestion must be very fast.
  2. Dolphins are not only marine, but also river or freshwater.
  3. Dolphins know how to regulate the flow of their bodies: the first to pay attention to this was the Englishman James Gray, who was surprised by the animals’ high swimming speed. Gray found out that according to the laws of hydrodynamics, in order to move at such a speed, dolphins must have much greater muscle power or master the fluidity of their bodies. The smooth and elastic skin of dolphins is covered with oily secretions, which helps them swim at a higher speed.
  4. Dolphins are one of the few marine species whose hunting style is similar to a wolf pack, where they work together and each animal has a specific role. This makes them very skilled hunters.
  5. Dolphins have almost no natural predators. The main hunters for them are people. In schools, dolphins can fight sharks and protect their young.
  6. There is a theory that dolphins are closely related to hippopotamuses, which millions of years ago began to live in the sea and lost their legs.
  7. Dolphin is derived from the Greek word “delphos”, which translates as “brother” or “cub”. Probably, the ancient Greeks, who were very friendly to dolphins and appreciated their help, called them their brothers. In ancient Greece, the dolphin was considered a sacred animal, many myths and legends were associated with it. The first record of dolphin-human interaction was found in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
  8. A dolphin’s brain is larger than a human’s and has twice as many convolutions. In addition, dolphins are able to use both hemispheres alternately. For example, when a dolphin’s left or right eye is closed, it means that the left or right hemisphere of the brain is asleep, and the other is active at that moment. Like humans and monkeys, dolphins are able to process information, as well as learn and remember, which greatly helps them survive. Due to their high intelligence and excellent hunting skills, some species of dolphins live very long, from 40 to 70 years.
  9. Some researchers believe that the IQ level of some dolphins exceeds the average human. This does not mean that dolphins are smarter than people, but it clearly indicates the incredibly high intelligence of individual dolphins.
  10. Dolphins have a highly developed social structure. They live in large flocks, in which everyone is related to each other. Due to their friendly nature, they maintain warm and peaceful relations among themselves and avoid quarrels. Dolphins often help each other. For example, if one dolphin is injured, its relatives will help it rise to the surface of the water to breathe. There is always a leader in the pack. Society is divided into experienced persons and young people who take over knowledge from elders. It is believed that dolphins can show such social phenomena as: jealousy, favoritism, recognition, happiness, etc.
  11. Due to the fact that dolphins live under water, their auditory receptors are arranged in a special way. This animal has an amazing ability to echolocate. This allows dolphins to pick up sounds and transmit information to each other over long distances. Experiments have shown that they can even distinguish a golf ball from a ping-pong ball when they fall into water.
  12. Dolphins are able to “scan” people with the help of sonar: this allows them to see the structure of our internal organs, including the bones of the skeleton and respiratory organs. It is believed that intellectually developed dolphins can compare obvious facts: if a creature with lungs swims under water and does not rise to the surface, then it is drowning and needs help. Therefore, dolphins, seeing a drowning person or animal, try to push it to the surface.
  13. Dolphins can communicate using sounds. In their “vocabulary” about 14,000 different sound signals.
  14. Each dolphin has its own name, which it receives at birth. This fact was proven by scientists who recorded a sound signal at the birth of a baby, indicating the name. Later, the same dolphin came to this sound.
  15. Dolphin eyes create almost panoramic vision. Thanks to the successful location of the eyes, dolphins see objects 300 degrees around them. And thanks to the special structure of the eyes, the dolphin can navigate well even in the dark.
  16. Dolphins breathe with lungs, just like humans, but instead of a nose, the organ that captures air is a spiracles. Having caught air, the dolphin dives into the water, holding its breath for about 10-15 minutes. Some dolphins must breathe every 20 seconds, and some can hold their breath for as long as 30 minutes. Dolphin lungs recycle up to 80% of air, while human lungs can only recycle 17%. Although dolphins are marine animals, just one spoonful of water entering a dolphin’s lungs can cause serious damage.
  17. Dolphins often mate for fun rather than breeding. They are notorious seekers of sexual pleasure and are estimated to spend 80% of their time seeking it. They can invent different types of sexual acts, but not only with each other. Sexual acts with moray eels and even humans have been observed. Beware, these guys are real perverts!
  18. In captivity, sometimes there are male dolphins who seek the consent of the female for intimacy, driving her away from her family and depriving her of food.
  19. There are about 70 species of dolphins. One of them that you might not guess is the killer whale. Killer whales are actually giant dolphins. The smallest species of dolphin has a length of about 1.2 meters – Maui dolphins. The largest of the dolphins is the killer whale.
  20. Dolphins can swim at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour if they want, but usually their average speed is about 10-12 kilometers per hour.
  21. Dolphins have been recorded to dive as deep as 300 meters, but they spend most of their lives in shallow water. Some species remain in 3 meters of water or less for most of their lives.
  22. Dolphins teach their children to use tools. For example, rubbing some soft corals to coat their skin like sunscreen. Bottlenose dolphins living off the coast of Australia use a sea sponge to find food. They do it as follows: they put a sponge on the sharp part of the muzzle and comb the bottom with it. They use this method so as not to injure themselves on small reefs or stones lying on the seabed.
  23. Dolphins are the only mammals on Earth that give birth tail first, not head.
  24. After a gestation period of up to 18 months, one 50-60 cm long cub is born. Immediately after birth, the baby breathes above the surface of the water and only then enters the sea. Without this breath, the cub would suffocate. The mother protects him and feeds him with milk for at least six months, and sometimes up to two years, starting to wean him after 6-18 months.
  25. Different types of these creatures can grow up to 4.5-5 meters in length, although most of their representatives are human-sized.
  26. By color, different species are gray, blue, black and with different color pigments.
  27. Dolphin fishing is prohibited. The protection of dolphins is being taken seriously all over the world, as there are several species that are on the verge of extinction. One of them is Hector Maui, who lives in North Zealand. At the moment, only 150 representatives of this species remain.
  28. Dolphins are usually very friendly to humans. There are known cases when these animals helped people reach the shore after a shipwreck or led boats to the shore. Today, a new method of treatment – dolphin therapy – is popular. It has been proven that communication with dolphins has a positive effect on human health. Dolphin therapy sessions improve mood and perception of the world, treat depression, insomnia, calm the nervous system, help people with head and back injuries recover, and are also useful for pregnant women. In the course of observations, it was found that 9 out of 10 children suffering from developmental delays improved their brain function after training with dolphins.
  29. Dolphins have an extremely developed capacity for empathy. They are able to understand the emotional state of a person and sympathize with him.
  30. Signals reproduced by dolphins have a positive effect on human health. Therefore, now they even began to release audio discs with music recorded against the background of “healing songs” of dolphins.
  31. But dolphins can harm a person. Sometimes just playing with swimmers, dolphins drag them far from the shore and become the cause of human deaths. Experienced swimmers always have a sharp object with them, which can be used to scratch a dolphin that has played and poses a danger.
  32. Skin regeneration in dolphins is 8 times faster than in humans. At the same time, it is not worsened by infectious lesions, even if the water is teeming with bacteria.
  33. Dolphins molt so quickly that they can completely renew the top layer of skin in an hour. Thus, an animal can molt up to 24 times a day.
  34. Pain sensations in dolphins are dulled, because their body produces natural painkillers similar in action to morphine.
  35. Dolphins have taste buds with which they can distinguish tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty.
  36. Different types of dolphins eat different types of fish.
  37. In the course of research, it was established that dolphins recognize themselves in a mirror. This experiment confirms that they have self-awareness.
  38. Some species of dolphins have grandmothers who take care of their young. Apart from dolphins, only humans have grandmothers.

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dolphins - interesting facts

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