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Wild Things: Dolphins

Wild Things: Dolphins - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

There have been TV shows, movies and even a football team dedicated to dolphins. From Flipper to Ecco to the Miami Dolphins, famous dolphins have won over the hearts of people around the world.

There have been TV shows, movies, video games and even a football team dedicated to dolphins. From Flipper to Ecco to the Miami Dolphins, famous dolphins have won over the hearts of people around the world. And let's not forget the millions of dollars generated each year from dolphin tourism. Let's face it - we just can't get enough of these clever marine mammals.

Dolphins are mammals and belong to the same order that whales do, which is the order Cetacea. Just like humans, dolphins breathe air and cannot stay under water for too long or they will die. The longest a dolphin can safely stay under water without getting brain damage is about 15 minutes. The average time for their underwater excursions, though, is about five to eight minutes.

For many years, scientists have studied dolphins to see just how smart they really are. Although a dolphin's brain is actually larger than a human's, they're not as advanced as we are. They do have a very distinct language that they use to communicate with each other but they still depend on echolocation (the use of sound and echoes bouncing back to them off objects,) to "see", much like bats do. This is effective but limits their ability to have visual memories, like humans do. There is still a lot of research that scientists would like to conduct on these intelligent animals.

Where Are Dolphins Found?

There are close to 50 species of dolphins and they can be found all over the world. Rarer species have been found in fresh water such as the Amazon River, the Ganges River and many South American rivers. The more common species of dolphin, such as the Bottlenose, are often found in the tropical waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. As many as 50,000 dolphins live just off the coast of Japan.

Dolphin Quick Facts:

  • A dolphin's snout is called a rostrum.
  • Don't bother trying to race a dolphin - many can reach speeds of up to 25 mph (40 kph.)
  • A Bottlenose dolphin can weigh up to 440 lbs (200 kg.)
  • Dolphins are carnivores that live mostly on fish like, herring, mackerel and sardines. They also enjoy squid and shrimp.
  • Feeding time for dolphins is at night.
  • A dolphin sheds its outer layer of skin every two hours.

1 I would never go near a dolphin. Why would you want to? They are too smart. Dolphins may be used in thereapy to help people, but I personally wouldn't go near one. Don't ask me why, but I don't like dolphins at all. Very informative article, though.

Kidz Submit by:

Nickname: unisteve
Age: 13

Did we leave anything out that you would like to know about dolphins? Have you ever swam with a dolphin or would you like to? Well, and let us know what you think about these crafty creatures.

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