Playful and intelligent, people love dolphins! So much so that dolphin fans often book dolphin-watching tours along Florida waters to get an up-close view of these cetaceans. In ancient cultures, the dolphin symbol often represented the circle of life and death, rebirth and fertility. Today, governments around the world protect many dolphin species. Despite their popularity, people do not know much about dolphins. Test your dolphin knowledge! Did you know these facts?
Dolphins are meat eaters. They love fish such as herring, cod and mackerel. Dolphins also like squid, shrimp and other crustaceans. Dolphins don’t chew their food—they swallow it in just a few gulps.
Dolphins are social animals. They often live in groups or pods—sometimes up to several hundred in a pod!
Dolphins are perfectly designed for optimum swimming. They are sleek, muscular, and have a blowhole on the top of the head. Their skin camouflages them, often ranging in colors of gray to green.
Dolphins range in size. The average dolphin weighs between 440 to 600 pounds, but some massive dolphins weigh up to 22,000 pounds! The average dolphin measures eight feet long.
Dolphin love occurs all year long. Dolphins do not abide by a set mating season. Some species of dolphin breed throughout the year, but mating does peak slightly in spring and fall. Dolphins usually have one calf at a time—on rare occasions, they may have twins.
Dolphins sleep with one eye open. Well, not one eye, but one half of the dolphin’s brain sleeps while the other stays awake. Why? To keep the animal from drowning.
Dolphins can live for more than 40 years. The common bottlenose dolphin has a male life expectancy of 40-45 years, and a female lifespan of more than 50 years. But some species in the wild may live as long as 90 years.
Dolphins have an interesting communication system. They can click and whistle at the same time, which allows them to create an even greater language tool or to hold two conversations at the same time.
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