There probably isn't a single person on the planet who doesn't love dolphins! And how can we not love them? They are amazingly intelligent, kind, beautiful, and love humans. You probably remember watching “Flipper” when you were a kid, right? Well, this article is for all of you Flipper fans who share our love and fascination for these beautiful creatures.
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Did you know that, there are almost 40 different kinds of dolphins swimming in our planet's water? Of course, most of those species live in the salt waters of seas and oceans. The majority can be found in the areas of the tropics, in the warm, shallow parts of the oceans. However, there are actually 4 dolphin species that live in the rivers, and actually like to help the fisherman, by chasing the flocks of fish into the nets.
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Beautiful dolphins are carnivores – they eat water creatures like jellyfish, octopuses, shrimps and, of course, different kind of fish. Per day, one 260-pound dolphin eats about 33 pounds of fish.
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It is a well known fact that the play is one of the best expressions of intelligence, and in the mighty animal kingdom there are no more playful creatures than dolphins. So they are truly water brainiacs, with the brains similar to humans.
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Do you believe that famous killer whales are actually dolphins? Yes, our smart friends are part of the big whale family that also includes pilot whales and famous orcas.
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There are no creatures that are as socially as dolphins! They live in a big group that sometimes have more that a thousand members, and all of them hunt and play together. Happy family, that is for sure!
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Dolphin's gestation takes about 9-17 months, depending on the species. Usually, the dolphins carry one baby, but sometimes twins are born, also. During the swimming, the female dolphin gives a birth and the baby is born in a position “fluke first”. The newborn youngling is about 20-25 pounds and 2-3 feet height.
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Dolphin younglings are nursed by their mother who is feeding them with their own milk. The mother dolphin usually has help of another dolphin that participate in delivering the baby and taking care of it during the first years of its life. Baby dolphins stay with their mother for about six years – during that time baby learns the important skills needed for surviving.
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Dolphins have no sense of smell, but their sense of touch is really developed. In or out of the water, dolphins have a perfect eyesight. They also hear frequencies 10 times the upper limit of adult humans. Remarkable!
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Fishing, pollution and hunting are real treats for some species among the dolphins, so the humans are their most dangerous enemies. For example, from 2006, the Yangtze River dolphin officially doesn't exists anymore and now is known as the ghost of the Yangtze river.
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All the dolphins are mammals. That is why they need to come to the surface of the water – to breathe. But they are not like land mammals who eat and breathe through the mouth. Dolphins have holes for each function so they breathe through the blow-holes and eat through the mouths. Those separate holes prevent them from sucking up water into the lungs during the hunting.
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If you wonder how long the dolphins live, here is the answer – for a long time. For example, bottlenose dolphins can live for about 40 years and the Orcas for about 70 years. But in captivity, their life span is much shorter than their cousins in the wild.
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