10 Characteristics of DOLPHINS

Dolphins are marine mammals that have possibly the closest spiritual, intellectual, and social bond to humans. of all sea creatures. Many people have said that if they could return as an animal, they would choose to be a dolphin. Like otters, dolphins are considered intelligent and playful animals. In some cases this is true, but they can also be aggressive and unpredictable and their habits and behavior are far from being understood.
Dolphins, porpoises and whales are members of the mammalian cetacean family. There are 83 species of cetaceans. They include dolphins, porpoises, pilot whales, bottlenose whales, and killer whales. The 37 species of dolphins (32 marine species, 3 river species and killer whales). There are six species of porpoise.

dolphin characteristics

Important Dolphin Characteristics

  1. Diet: Dolphins consume a variety of prey including fish, squid, and crustaceans.
  2. Population: It is difficult to estimate the number of populations as there are many different species covering a large geographic area.
    Distance. Most species live in shallow areas of the tropical and temperate oceans around the world. Five species live in the world's rivers.
  3. Behavior: Dolphins are well known for their agility and playful behavior, making them a favorite with wildlife watchers. Many species jump out of the water, spy-jump (rise vertically out of the water to view their surroundings), and follow boats, often synchronizing their movements with each other. Scientists believe that dolphins conserve energy by swimming alongside boats, a practice known as bow riding. Dolphins live in social groups of five to several hundred. They use echolocation to search for prey and often hunt together by circling a school of fish, catching them and taking turns swimming in schools and fishing. Dolphins will also follow seabirds, other whales, and fishing boats to opportunistically feed on the fish they scare or discard.
  4. Breeding: Breeding Season: Year-round, although in some areas there is a peak in spring and fall.
  5. Gestation: 9-17 months depending on the species. When it is time to give birth, the female will distance herself from the pod, often moving closer to the surface of the water.

  6. Number of children: usually a calf; twins are rare. As soon as the calf is born, the mother must quickly bring it to the surface so that it can take its first breath. The calf will nurse from 11 months to 2 years, and once it has nursed, it will stay with its mother until it is between 3 and 8 years old.
  7. Size: In general, bottlenose dolphins are from 2 to 3.9m. Their average weight is 150 to 200kg. Differences in size may be related to variations in coastal and offshore ecotypes and geographic locations. Marine ecotypes, adapted for colder waters, tend to be larger than inshore ecotypes. On average, adult males are slightly longer than females and considerably heavier. Bottlenose dolphins measured off Sarasota, Florida average 2.5-2.7m (8.2-8.9ft) and weigh between 190-260kg. Large bottlenose dolphins in the Pacific can measure 3.7m and weigh 454kg. In the Mediterranean, bottlenose dolphins can grow to 3.7m or more.
  8. Fur: They have a few scant hair follicles around the tip of their rostrum, although any individual hairs present fall out before or soon after birth. Also, they do not have sweat glands. A dolphin's skin is soft and feels rubbery. The skin has no hair or sweat glands. The outer layer of skin (epidermis) is approximately 10 to 20 times thicker than the epidermis of land mammals. Like human skin, dolphin skin constantly flakes and flakes off as new skin cells replace old ones. The bottlenose dolphin's outermost layer of skin can be replaced every two hours. This shedding rate is nine times faster than in humans. This rate of rotation ensures a smooth body surface and probably helps increase swimming efficiency by reducing drag (resistance to movement).
  9. Pectoral fins: A dolphin's forelimbs are pectoral fins. The pectoral fins have the main skeletal elements of the forelimbs of terrestrial mammals, but are shortened and modified. Skeletal elements are rigidly supported by connective tissue. The pectoral fins curve slightly backwards and point to the tips. The length of the pectoral fin is 30 to 50 cm. Dolphins use their pectoral fins mainly to steer and, with the help of the staves, to stop.
  10. flukes: Each lobe of a dolphin's tail is called a flounder. Flukes are flat pads of dense, fibrous connective tissue, completely without bone, cartilage or muscle. From end to end, adult staves are around 60 cm wide. Fluke's spread is about 20% of the total body length. The longitudinal muscles of the back and the peduncle (tail reservoir) move the fins up and down to propel a dolphin through the water. Like fin arteries, fluke arteries are surrounded by veins to help conserve body heat in cold water.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 Characteristics of DOLPHINS, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-dolphins/ (Consultado el: 23-09-2023)

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