Dolphins are mammals and are incredibly intelligent. There has been a strange bond between humans and dolphins that stretches back for thousands of years.
Dolphin Facts for Kids
- Dolphins are meat eaters (carnivores)
- The Killer Whale that is also called an ‘Orca’ is really a type of dolphin. It is known for its large size and black and white coloring and the ability to work together to herd prey.
- The most commonly known type of dolphin is the bottlenose.
- Male dolphins are called ‘bulls’ and female dolphins are called ‘cows’. The dolphin young are referred to as ‘calves’.
- Dolphins live in groups that are called pods or schools and each can have as many as twelve individuals.
- Dolphins exhibit playful behavior including riding waves, jumping up and out of the water, play fighting and also interacting with swimming humans. It is due to the playful behavior that they have been a popular animal with humans.
- Dolphins swim in the water but they are air breathers just like humans. They need to resurface and use a blowhole at the top of their head for breathing purposes.
- Dolphins use echolocation to find the exact location and distance of objects, including their food. Echolocation bounces off of the object and they can measure the distance by the amount of time it takes to bounce back or return to them.
- Dolphins do have excellent hearing and eyesight.
- Dolphins use a variety of sounds to communicate with each other including whistles, clicks and other noises. Scientists have spent years trying to see if they could figure out the communication and are still puzzled.
- Dolphins often get caught in fishing nets set out by fishermen and many of the species are facing potential extinction. International organizations have banded together to protest that fishermen use special types of nets that allow the dolphins to escape.
Images of dolphins have been used throughout the history of mankind. Some cultures valued them as good luck while others viewed them as part of their religious beliefs. One of the oldest cultures that used dolphins in their art were the ancient Minoans.