Dolphin Facts

Here at Dolphins Plus, we are take pride in our dolphin knowledge, and we are always learning more about these fascinating creatures!  Take a look at some interesting facts about our favorite marine mammals, and see why they capture our heart.

Do dolphins chew food

Do dolphins chew their food?

Dolphins have 80-100 cone-shaped teeth, but they do not chew their food. They swallow it whole.

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Do dolphins sleep

Do dolphins sleep?

Dolphins do sleep, but they only need about four hours of sleep per day, compared with humans who usually need about 6-7 hours per day.  When dolphins do sleep, they only close one eye.  Dolphins only rest half their brain at a time when they sleep. This allows them to stay aware of their surroundings, take care of their calves, watch out for predators, and come up to breathe.

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Are polar bears marine mammals

Are polar bears marine mammals?

Yes, polar bears are actually marine mammals. They have developed many adaptations that allow them to survive in the Arctic.  Their white fur acts as camouflage in icy and snowy conditions. Although their fur is white, their skin is black. They also have large paws and claws that act as snowshoes, allowing polar bears to walk and climb on snow and ice. Climate change, oil spills, chemical pollutants and overharvesting are resulting in a decline in polar bear populations each year.

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Can I feed wild dolphins

Can I feed wild dolphins?

No, it is against the law to feed wild dolphins. Besides that, feeding dolphins reduces their fear of people and vessels and increases the risk of injury or death due to a boat strike or fishing gear entanglement.  Feeding wild dolphins can also make them more aggressive.  People have been pulled under water or bitten attempting to feed wild dolphins.

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Do dolphins have noses

Do dolphins have noses?

Dolphins do not have noses, and therefore have no sense of smell.  The bottle-shaped appendage on their face is actually a mouth, not a nose. The closest thing a dolphin has to a nose is a blowhole, which is located at the top of the head. Dolphins cannot smell through their blowhole, however.

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How do dolphins produce sound

How do dolphins produce sound?

Dolphin sounds are unique and distinct.  They produce these sounds using a bony structure in the nares, nicknamed “monkey lips.”  This structure is located underneath the blowhole, where the sound comes out.

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How do sea otters use tools to get food

How do sea otters use tools to obtain food?

Sea otters mainly eat benthic invertebrates such as clams, mussels, urchins, crabs and fish. They must dive to capture their food, sometimes up to 250 feet. Sea otters also use “tools” such as rocks to open their hard-shelled prey.

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How do we identify dolphins

How do we identify dolphins?

The shape and characteristics of each bottlenose dolphin’s dorsal fin is unique, and used to identify individuals.

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Should I collect seashells from the ocean floor

Should I collect seashells from the ocean?

No. Shells may not be alive, but they can be recycled into homes for many ocean creatures. Almost everything in the ocean is alive, or can be used by living animals. Taking coral, shells or animals can disturb an extremely delicate ecosystem. Remember, when you’re enjoying the ocean, take only pictures and leave only bubbles!

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What is blubber

What is blubber?

Most marine mammals have a thick layer of fat called blubber. Since water sucks heat away from a warm body, blubber is an adaptation to living in the water. Blubber is used like a coat to keep marine mammals warm. It can also be used as a source of energy. In general, marine mammal blubber is thicker in animals that live in very cold climates, versus those that live in warmer ones. The thickness of their blubber layer can also change with the seasons, much like changing your thick winter coat for a thin one.

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What is the largest mammal

What is the largest mammal?

The largest mammal on earth is the blue whale. A blue whale is larger than an NBA basketball court, and weighs more than an airplane.  A blue whale’s tongue is the size and weight of a fully-grown elephant! Current threats to the blue whale include collision with ships, noise pollution and illegal whaling.

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What sound do sperm whales make

What sounds do sperm whales make?

Sperm whales are amongst the largest creatures in the ocean. They are the most abundant of the large whales and can be found over the widest range in all the world’s oceans, from tropical to temperate waters. They are amongst the deepest divers in the ocean, foraging for food at tremendous depths. Sperm whales locate prey using echolocation, much like fishermen use sonar machinery to locate fish in the water.  It is believed that sperm whales can communicate over large distances and even stun their prey through echolocation.

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