The dolphin is a very popular marine mammal known for its benevolence and great sympathy. This full of quality animal has incredible intelligence and much in common with us, since its brain is similar to a human. To know everything about dolphins, here are 10 things to know about this exceptional marine mammal.
Needs no introduction: a dolphin is a marine mammal, one of man’s favorite animals. Benevolent and friendly, this animal is a symbol of joy and freedom, conveying positive emotions. Due to its good relationship with humans, the dolphin is considered a sea dog.
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The dolphin arrived on Earth over 50 million years ago. There are over 30 different species of dolphins in the world today. These animals are endowed with remarkable intelligence, extreme sensitivity and lead a unique lifestyle. To learn all about these unusual creatures, here are 10 things to know about dolphins.
Dolphins communicate by whistling
Dolphins have a complex language that allows them to communicate with each other. Indeed, each dolphin emits a unique whistle, similar to a voice signature that distinguishes it from other dolphins. Thus, just like us with our voice, each dolphin has its own personality and can recognize each other.
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In addition, their unique whistles allow them to remember other dolphins they have met in their lives. Although dolphins are able to whistle, they do not have vocal cords. The sounds they make come from their larynx and air pockets under the blowhole, an opening above their head that allows them to breathe.
Dolphins emit ultrasound to sense their environment
In addition to the whistles used for communication, dolphins emit ultrasound. This technique, called echolocation, helps them perceive their environment.
By emitting ultrasound, the dolphin will be able to identify objects, prey and obstacles around it. To do this, the ultrasound is reflected off the object, then returned to the dolphin’s inner ear, which allows it to estimate the distance separating it from the environment.
In addition, these cetaceans hear 10 times better than us. Indeed, they are able to hear sound frequencies 10 times higher than in adults. In addition to excellent hearing, dolphins also have a very good sense of touch. However, they do not have a sense of smell.
Dolphins must think about breathing
Unlike us, who breathe automatically, dolphins breathe voluntarily. This feature means that these marine mammals must think about breathing. Thus, they constantly need to float to the surface to get air, as they hold their breath when they are underwater.
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For this reason, dolphins never sleep fully. When they rest, one part of their brain shuts down while the other continues to function. Thus, it can be said that dolphins sleep with only one eye open so that they can continue to breathe. During sleep, they can rise to the surface to breathe air while continuing to rest.
Finally, when dolphins are in a group, they usually come up to the surface to breathe at the same time, especially when there are young dolphins to teach them how to breathe on their own.
Female dolphins help each other during childbirth
After a year of pregnancy, the female dolphin should give birth to cubs. In this she is helped by another female, who acts as a godmother for the baby. During childbirth, a supporting second dolphin assists the giving birth female by pushing the newborn to the surface of the water.
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This method is set up so that the baby can take his first breath. During childbirth, the baby dolphin exits the mother’s womb through the tail so that its vent is not blocked in the event of a difficult birth.
Dolphins are notorious for being rapists
Unfortunately, this is not a myth: dolphins are very friendly, but they also have a dark side. This is especially true for males, which can behave very aggressively.
Dolphins are known to be rapists because during the breeding season, it is not uncommon to see several males capturing a female in order to impregnate her without her consent. To achieve their goals, males may kick themselves with their tail and head and bite females. As a rule, the latter manage to escape once out of four.
In addition, infanticide is also common among dolphins. From birth, some males, unrelated to the newborn, may seek to kill him in order to cause the mother to cycle back. For this reason, the female must mate with several males. Without knowing for sure who the child is from, they would be less likely to attack babies.
Finally, cases of incest have been observed in dolphins that bred when they were from the same family.
Dolphins help out in difficult times
Dolphins are benevolent and highly altruistic mammals. They can help each other in case of danger, as well as save other marine life. In addition, if a dolphin is in danger or dies, its relatives will come to its aid. They will carry him to the surface and let him breathe.
Very sociable, dolphins love to live in groups. If they help each other, they also like to hunt, play and swim together. In some cases, there can be up to 1000 dolphins in one group.
Dolphin uses tools to avoid injury
Like the great apes, dolphins are highly intelligent animal species capable of overcoming obstacles and solving problems. Recently, dolphins have been shown to be able to use tools to hunt. This hunting technique, passed down from generation to generation, is useful in preventing injury to cetaceans.
Photo Credit: Sonia Wild / Dolphin Innovation Project.
Indeed, dolphins often scour the land to find fish. However, their skin is very fragile and they risk injury when digging through the sea floor or rocks with their noses. To protect themselves and scare away fish, dolphins usually use materials they pick up along the way, such as sponges or shells.
Dolphins are smarter than monkeys
Dolphins have brains similar to those of humans. Therefore, they are considered more intelligent and developed than monkeys. These marine animals have much in common with us, as they are sensitive, able to help each other, aware of death and feel suffering.
In addition to all these emotional abilities, dolphins are able to recognize their own appearance. To confirm this statement, an experiment was conducted using a mirror. The researchers drew the figures with a non-toxic marker on the skin of the dolphins. Immediately, the latter went to the mirror to observe themselves and notice the marks that were painted on their bodies.
Very few species of animals have this ability to recognize themselves in a mirror, which once again proves the great intelligence of dolphins.
Dolphins are very sensitive
Like us, dolphins are extremely sensitive. These animals are able to feel pain, sadness and stress. Moreover, they are aware of their own mortality, which means that they know that one day they will die.
In particular, for this reason, dolphins can commit suicide, which only these cetaceans and humans can do. To do this, dolphins stumble upon stones, stop eating or breathing. In addition, dolphins are empathetic as they can sense the suffering of other dolphins.
Dolphin loves to have fun
The social dolphin is an animal that loves to live in groups. As a player, he really needs to blow off some steam and spend time with his clan members. For fun, he can ride the waves or even swim in the air bubbles that he himself forms.
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Dolphins can also jump across surfaces while spinning. Very strong spinner dolphins in this area set a record for the number of revolutions, since they can make 7 in one jump.
Even if it does it primarily for fun, the dolphin needs to have fun in order to strengthen its cognitive development. It is also a way to get to know other members of your group and avoid being alone or rejected by other dolphins.