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What is your Dolphin IQ?

Updated on February 25, 2016

Can you answer the main dolphin questions?


Dolphins are one of the most well loved creatures that live in the water. They fascinate people with their acrobatics and movements through the water. Of course most people don’t realize that this type of entertainment is a way for them to easily remove parasites from their bodies.



Are Dolphins Intelligent?

There is no denying that these gentle creatures are also extremely intelligent. They have been trained to help with military operations and to perform tricks while in captivity. There are also wonderful stories of them helping divers in trouble or protecting people from shark attacks.


Where do Dolphins Live?

They live in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Some species though also live in rivers of freshwater like the pink dolphin. They prefer to live in water that is warm.


How was the Dolphin Evolution?

Dolphins have been around for millions of years and are classified as mammals. Many researchers believed that they evolved about 10 million years ago into the creatures we are familiar with today. They are closely related to whales. One of the distinct features of both of them is the blow hole at the top. This is to allow them to get air when they go to the surface.

dolphin and calf
dolphin and calf

What is the Dolphin Anatomy?

The anatomy of a dolphin is designed to allow them to easily swim through the water at very fast speeds. The dorsal fin and the tail which is call the fluke help them to navigate through the water as well as to keep their balance. They range in color from a light bluish gray to a dark grey color.

They size of them depends on the species of dolphin. Most of them are medium in size and have a long slender build. The smallest dolphin is the Amazonian and it is only about 100 pounds and 5 feet long. The largest is the Orca and it can be up to 19,000 pounds and 18 feet long. That is quite a significant difference!


How do Dolphins Communicate?

Communication is very interesting when it comes to dolphins. They use a variety of sounds including clicks, calls, and whistles. These sounds help them to engage with their offspring as well as other members that they live with. Dolphins live in groups called pods. They can range from a few dolphins to thousands of them. It really depends on the region where they are and the species of dolphin.


What is the Dolphin Social Structure?

Some dolphins will remain in the same pod their entire life. Others will move to new pods though depending on food sources and their own desires. Since dolphins are so intelligent it is believed that they are able to make decisions that aren’t always based upon instinct. They can also develop very deep bonds with other dolphins which is interesting to observe. What is also known is that males may leave a pod after losing battles with younger dolphins.

They are very social creatures, both with each other and with humans. They also tend to get along well with other types of dolphins. During the migration season it is common for different types of them to all be found in the same groups traveling to their destination. They are generally very calm except when they feel threatened or when they are mating.

How do Dolphins Reproduce?

The age of sexual maturity depends on the species of dolphin. Generally it is within the first five years of life though. Gestation is from 12 months to 17 months depending on the species of dolphin. It is also believed that some dolphins take part in sexual activity outside of the mating season.

Mating takes place during the migration season. Dolphins generally won’t mate within their own pods, even if they are quite large. This helps to keep the genetic pool in check though. However, in some regions where the number of dolphins are small they may have no choice but to mate within their pod. This can reduce the quality of genetics though due to inbreeding.

There is evidence too of hybrid dolphins which have parents of two different breeds. These dolphins are rare though so they definitely capture the attention of researchers. So far they seem to be able to survive quite well. The offspring stay with their mothers for about one year. She will feed them milk from her body during this period of time. Then they may either stay in the pod or go to join a new one.


How Dolphins take care of their young?

The interactions between the mother and the offspring is one that is highly evolved. In fact, they are very closely related to humans in this aspect. They have been seen showing their offspring how to use tools. Many of the things that these young dolphins learn how to do is more than instinct, it is a learned behavior. Interestingly enough, this seems to take place more often with mothers passing on such learning skills to their female offspring than their male offspring.

Dolphin Swimming in front of a boat
Dolphin Swimming in front of a boat

What do Dolphins Eat?

The diet for dolphins consists of a variety of fish and squid. They will also consume a variety of crustaceans that happen to be available in their natural habitat. A dolphin can consume from 10 to 35 pounds of food per day depending on the size and the species. They are amazing when it comes to hunting for their prey.

This is generally done as a group effort. In a very large pod they will break up into smaller groups for hunting efforts. They herd groups of fish or squid, circle them, and then close in. They are very precise in their efforts and the young offspring learn from observing early in life what their role for this will be.

They also often seen following boats in the water. It is believed that they are able to take advantage of food sources that these boats conjure up into a given area as they glide along the water. However, this can also be dangerous for the dolphins as they can be struck by these heavy boats.

Dolphin Video

Are Dolphins Endangered?

The future for the dolphin though is uncertain for some species. This is due to many factors including many of them being injured in fish nets, hunting and killing them even though it is illegal in many areas, their natural habitat being shared with humans, lack of food in some areas, global warming, and pollution.

Thanks to the actions of many conservation groups and governments though they future for the dolphin looks better than it did just a decade ago. Hopefully we will see this magnificent creature of the water being around for a very long time. However, in order for that to happen there is still plenty that has to be done.

dolphins in the military
dolphins in the military

 How long do Dolphins live?

Through various types of research that have been done on dolphins we have a good idea of their survival skills. That information combined with the efforts of conservation groups can be key to their survival. While they have the ability to evolve, they simply can’t take on all of the human variables that affect their ability to do so.

With the right conditions some dolphins are believed to live up to 100 years. It depends on the species and the environment. The average life span is believed to be about 30 years. Many dolphins are found in captivity as they seem to adapt very well to that life. Many of them would die in the wild due to injuries that they sustained. These animals help to educate the public as well as help us to learn more about them.

Comments

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  • profile image

    kidsrule123456789 

    6 years ago

    how come it doesnt tell anything about the dolphins survival skills? if it does can someone tell me which pharagraph it is in. cause i am doing a reasearch paper on that. Thanxs peeps

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    6 years ago

    Quite interesting and intelligent creatures. Research shows they have the ability to reason and evaluate situations. Amazing! Great hub on marine animals.

  • profile image

    Ciao 

    6 years ago

    Thanks-very intresting .

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