Put Your Fins Together For National Dolphin Day!

Dolphins, ocean, new species, humpback, water
Study shows dolphins sleep with half of their brains, in order to stay alert. Photo Credit: The Guardian

(ANIMAL NEWS/DOLPHINS) Today, April 14 is National Dolphin Day, a day dedicated to the plight of dolphins of all species across the globe. These incredibly intelligent and social mammals congregate in schools of five to hundreds, and range in colors from pink, white, brown, and even black.

Found all over the world, these species are threatened by a number of issues including fishing gear, ocean pollution from oil and gas development, ship collisions, and climate change. It’s time to take a stand for dolphins and protect the world’s oceans.

On this day, take a moment to celebrate these charismatic animals with the 10 fun facts below, courtesy of Dolphin Way. — Global Animal

Dolphins, ocean, new species, humpback, water
Did you know dolphins sleep with half of their brains, in order to stay alert? Photo Credit: The Guardian

1. Killer whales are dolphins

Yes, the “big mean orcas” are just big misunderstood dolphins. They are top dog in every ocean ecosystem, despite being dressed in silly panda suits.

2. Dolphins are born tail first

Being a mammal and giving birth at sea is no mean feat, and every baby dolphin comes into the world in reverse. If you’re lucky enough to see a very young dolphin you might also notice that they look ‘creased’ from where they were folded up inside their mothers. A healthy diet of fatty dolphin milk soon irons out those creases though.

3. Dolphins have built in sonar

Dolphins navigate and find their food using echolocation. This bounces noise off objects and their surroundings to ‘see’ in surround sound. Bats also use echolocation in this way, but sadly dolphins have never been immortalised as a caped comic crusader.

4. Dolphins rescued Dick Van Dyke!

No, this is not a deleted scene from Mary Poppins! In 2010 cinema legend Dick Van Dyke claimed that his life was saved by ‘porpoises’. Though he probably meant dolphins. Or he may have been talking supercalifragilisticexpialinonsense.

Bottlenose dolphins are believed to be falling victim to morbillivirus, a disease that previously rocked the population back in the late ’80s. Photo Credit: Albert Gea

5. Scottish dolphins are the best

Okay, maybe not the best, but Scottish bottlenose dolphins are the biggest in the world. Probably because Scottish seas are a bit chilly as every child who has been to St Andrews beach in ‘summer’ knows to their cost, and being bigger means you lose less heat. Scottish dolphins are also pretty easy to see from shore, or on a boat trip, and support a thriving ecotourism industry in the Moray Firth.

New Species Of River Dolphin
This new species of River Dolphin was found in central Brazil–the first finding of its kind since 1918. Photo Credit: Nicole Dutra

6. Some dolphins live in the trees

Not all dolphins live in the sea, with a handful of species preferring freshwater and living in tropical rivers. That means that in the flooded waters of the amazon, river dolphins swim amongst the trees.

7. Dolphins have central heating & cooling systems

Because they are covered in a blubbery coating to stay warm, dolphins have to take special measures to regulate their temperature. They use clever circulation to cool down blood in their fins and send it where staying cool matters most.

8. Dolphins call each other names

No, not mean names like ‘Fishbreath’ or ‘Beaky’! Scientists have discovered that complex dolphin communication includes referring to each other by a given ‘name’.

9. Not all dolphins look the same

There are about 40 species of dolphins: some have no beak, some have no fin on their back, some are black and white, some are pink, some have go-faster stripes, and some are covered in scars. The one thing they do have in common is conical shaped teeth that are perfect for catching fish and squid on the move.

More Dolphin Way: http://www.dolphin-way.com/2015/04/10-facts-for-national-dolphin-day/#ixzz4eFTqbYl3


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