7 facts about dolphins

Our latest issue contains 25 dolphin facts, so here are a few to get you started.

1. Dolphins social network

Dolphins build up enormous networks of friends without going near a computer. Dolphins use sound to communicate and have excellent memories, so they have a mental ‘friend list’ they can contact easily. Dolphins live in fluid groups that are constantly splitting up and merging with other groups, so they can meet hundreds of others on a daily basis. Their social networking abilities have arisen to help share news and keep in contact.


2. They don’t have legs but…

Dolphins have hands! The pectoral fins on each side of a dolphin contain five long fingers similar to a human hand.


3. Swallowing whole

Dolphins lack the jaw muscles needed to chew so they swallow fish completely whole, and fish bones are broken down by powerful stomach enzymes.


4. 360 degree vision

Dolphins have perfect panoramic vision both above and below the water. Their eyes move independently, like those of a chameleon, meaning they can look in two directions at once. This is one of their secrets to their amazing hunting abilities as well as helping them keep an eye out for predators.


5. Big appetite

Dolphins eat up to ten percent of their body weight every day, which equates to 10-23 kilograms (22-50 pounds).


6. Newborns

Dolphin pregnancy lasts 12 months, and calves are born tail first. The mother then nudges the newborn to the surface to teach it how to breathe.


7. Helping out bros

In Laguna, Brazil, a group of dolphins has teamed up with local fishermen to catch mullet! The dolphins drive the silver fish towards the beach, where the fishermen wait on raised platforms with their nets poised. When the fish are in the shallow water, the dolphins give the fishermen a signal to let them know when to throw their nets. Not only do the fishermen get a consistent good catch, but the dolphins get to feast on fish that try to escape!

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Image from www.flickr.com/docklander