Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why I Love Dolphins (And You Should, Too!) - by Rianne Hobbs

Artwork by Rianne Hobbs
Many people will say that their favorite animal is a Dolphin and this isn’t surprising as they are extremely playful, friendly and intelligent animals. They are often seen jumping out of water, riding the waves and, if you are lucky, a dolphin may even approach you if you are swimming near them. [1]

Even though Dolphins live in the water, they aren’t fish! They are actually mammals like me and you!

Dolphins are found all over the world leading to 43 different species being recognized. Some dolphins prefer warmer waters and some prefer it colder, some prefer to live in the ocean and others prefer to live in rivers, so they’re not all the same![2] Just like in cows a male dolphin is called a “bull” a female a “cow” and babies are called “calves”.

Dolphins are carnivores, which means that they eat meat. They eat a wide range of animals such as fish, squid and crabs.[3] They tend to work as a group (Known as a “pod”!) in order to get their food, they do this by surrounding a school of fish and then ploughing straight through the middle to eat as many fish as they can. [2]

A lot of people will ask why Dolphins don’t drown while sleeping in the sea. The answer to this is that only one half of their brain goes to sleep while they sleep and the other half keeps them breathing! [3]

Dolphins talk to each other by making noises such as clicks and whistles and, just like Bats, they use echolocation to find the location of objects around them.[1] Bottlenose dolphins appear to identify each other by using a different whistle for each dolphin, much like you and your friends having different names![4]


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