By: Emily Jewell
What are some identification characteristics of dolphins?
All dolphins have torpedo-shaped bodies, which enable them to move through the water quickly and easily. They have a pair of wing-shaped forelimbs called flippers but no hind limbs. Most species of dolphins also have a dorsal fin on their back. This fin, along with the flippers, helps them balance when they swim. Powerful tail fins called flukes propel dolphins through the water. Their skin is smooth and rubbery. A layer of fat, called blubber, lies beneath the skin. The blubber keeps dolphins warm and acts as a storage place for energy. It is lighter than water, it also helps dolphins stay afloat. Like all other mammals, dolphins have lungs. The animals must surface regularly to breathe air and do so once or twice a minute. A dolphin breathes through a blowhole, a nostril on top of its head. The animal seals its blowhole by means of powerful muscles most of the time while underwater.
Where do dolphins live? What is their habitat?
Dolphins are found all over the world; mostly in shallow seawater of the continental shelves. You can witness dolphins in the cold waters as well as the warm tropical waters. Of course, there are certain species of dolphins that show preference to a particular temperature and region.
How many different types of dolphins are there?
The bottle-nose dolphin is the most common dolphin. They have a short beak which gives off the expression of a smile. Most dolphins in aquariums and zoos are bottle-nose dolphins. There is about forty two different dolphin species in the world. Including oceanic dolphins and river dolphins.
What are some interesting facts about dolphins?
Dolphins have a highly developed sense of hearing. They can hear a wide range of low and high pitched sounds, including many that are beyond human hearing. Dolphins also have good vision, and the entire surface of their bodies has a keen sense of touch. All these senses function well both above and below the surface of the water but dolphins also have no sense of smell.
The males are called bulls, and the females are called cows. The pregnancy period for most species of dolphins lasts from 10 to 12 months. The females almost always give birth to one baby, called a calf, at a time. After the calf is born, it immediately swims to the surface for its first breath of air. A newborn dolphin is about a third as long as its mother. There are also pink dolphins, they live in the amazon.
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