Creature feature - dolphins
With their squeaks and clicks, dolphins sure do make a lot of noise. But this is their way of talking to one another! By making sounds with a nasal sac filled with air inside their head, they can talk with each other just like we do.
And just like us, dolphins use more than sound to communicate with each other, they also use body language. Snapping their jaws, leaping out of the water and even butting heads are just some of the ways these amazing animals talk to one another.
So what are they trying to tell each other? They can alert each other to possible dangers, let others know there is food nearby, and keep track of others in their pod (the name for a group of dolphins).
Dolphins also make sounds that we can’t hear. Echolocation is a special type of sonar dolphins use by producing high frequency clicks, too high for us to hear.
When they make these clicking sounds, the sound travels through the water and when it hits an object like a fish or a rock, it bounces back to the dolphin as an echo. Echolocation tells the dolphin the shape, size, speed, distance and even location of the object. Wow!
- Bottlenose dolphins may look like fish but they are mammals. They breathe air, just like you do.
- The scientific family name for dolphins is delphinidae.
- The largest dolphins are orcas, also called killer whales.
- Although dolphins live in most of the world's oceans, bottlenoses are largely found in temperate and tropical waters.
- Having little or no sense of smell, dolphins make up for it with a sharp sense of hearing.
- Bottlenose dolphins look like they might be grinning. Their smiles are formed by the way their mouths curve.
- The brain of a bottlenose dolphin is larger than a human brain. However, the part that deals with intelligence isn't as big as ours.
- Dolphins will eat almost any kind of fish. Their diets also include squid and small crustaceans such as shrimps. They swallow their food whole. Gulp!
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