How Much Do You Really Know About Dolphins?


Most of us know what dolphins are, but how much do you know about these amazing mammals? Did you know that you are a mammal also and humans share lots of traits with dolphins? They are one of the smartest, most playful animals on the entire planet. Read on and I’ll explain more about dolphins and how they do some of the things they do. It’s time to get our dolphin facts straight.


Dolphin Types


DolphinsWe’re most familiar with the bottle nose dolphin. They are the primary stars at Sea World. There are 33 different types of dolphins. It is a dolphin fact that they range from fairly small to very large. Some species are just over 1 meter long and weigh 100 kg (220 lbs). On the opposite end of the scale are orca’s or killer whales which can reach over 9.5 meters long and tips the scale at 8 or 9 tons! The size generally reflects what habitat that species lives in, with the smallest ones living in or near rivers and the largest ones living out in the huge oceans.

Dolphins Habitat

Yes! It is a dolphin fact that some species live in rivers. South and Central America along with Asia and India boast the worlds river dolphin population. Sadly, it is generally believed that the “Chinese River Dolphin” found only in the Yangtze river, became extinct in 2006. We must all do whatever it takes to learn about, protect, and preserve animals like these. The larger species live far out in the oceans and generally travel in groups or “pods”. These pods can reach up to a couple of thousand dolphins in number.

Dolphins Menu

Dolphins are carnivores. They eat fish, frogs, crabs, squid, and many other things found in the water. Their diet is largely whatever is around to eat but fish is preferred. Fish, such as mackerel, are very dense, calorie wise, and high in fat content. They have to eat far more, say squid, to get they same amount of energy. It is a dolphin fact that some species, like the bottle nose dolphin, will eat 5 to 10% of their body weight daily. A 250 kg dolphin (550 lbs) will eat 10 to 22.5 kg (20 to 55 lbs) of food every day if available. That’s a lot of fish!

Dolphins Speed

How fast can a dolphin swim? It is difficult to be exact in how fast each species can swim. Killer whales can reach speeds of 20 to 25 miles an hour. Bottle nose dolphins are slightly slower at around 22 miles an hour. It is important to remember that dolphins don’t zip around at these speeds all the time. Those are only bursts of speed for a short time. Normal or cruising speed is closer to 7 miles per hour.

Dolphin Sonar

Dolphins don’t see like we do. Most dolphins have poor eyesight. They move around by using sonar or “echolocation”. It is a dolphin fact that they can find a 2.5 cm (About the size of a quarter) object from 72 meters (or almost 80 yards) away! The dolphins biosonar is highly developed and enables them to see things in very complex ways. Often dolphins will use sonar from many different spots to get a clearer picture of what’s ahead of them.

 Dolphin Brains


Although there is some debate as to how intelligent dolphins are there is no debate that they are intelligent! It is a dolphin fact that they identify themselves and communicate with each other with clicks and whistles. The dolphins brain has two hemispheres like humans and is about the Dolphins 2same size and shape. One of the ways a dolphin’s brain differs from humans’ is the number of lobes it has. It is a dolphin fact they have four lobes instead of three like you and me. It is thought that instead of splitting up the senses across all the brain lobes like humans, that dolphins use the fourth lobe for just the senses. This could allow them to process information far faster like their sonar signals.