The biggest member of the dolphin family is the orca (killer whale). Fish on the other hand extract oxygen from the water and do not need to surface. Because there is significant genetic variation between different bottlenose dolphin populations, it is likely that other new species may be identified in the future. However, many local dolphin populations face threats such as hunting for human consumption and for bait, accidental capture in fishing gear, pollution and habitat degradation. Animals: A Complete Guide to the Animal Kingdom, Megalodon Facts For Kids & Adults: Discover The Biggest Shark That Ever Lived, Jaguarundi Facts, Pictures & Information for Kids & Adults: Discover a Secretive Rainforest Cat, Clouded Leopard Facts For Kids & Students: Pictures, Information & Video, Animals That Start With L: List With Pictures & Facts, Desert Animals: A List Of Animals That Live In The Desert With Pictures & Facts – Plus FREE question sheet, Nine-Banded Armadillo Facts, Pictures & In-Depth Information, Bighorn Sheep Facts: Discover The Largest Sheep Native To North America, American Alligator Facts, Pictures & In-Depth Information. The larger males grow up to 9.8m (32ft 2in) and weigh up to 10,000kg (22,046lbs). The dolphins may hunt either individually or in groups. The first involves parties of males searching for a female that is ready to mate, then separating her from her pod with the fittest attempting to mate with her. River dolphins such as the Amazon River dolphin (boto) and South Asian river dolphins live their lives only in fresh water rivers and lakes, a long way from the ocean; they are sometimes known as the ‘true river dolphins’. The vaquita, which in Spanish means ‘little cow’, is the smallest porpoise in the world, and also the most endangered. The largest dolphin, the orca, can grow to be over 30 feet long. Known for their playful behavior, dolphins are highly intelligent. Dolphins are incredible. The tail is referred to as … A bottlenose dolphin’s brain contains cells known as spindle cells. The common bottlenose dolphin is a highly social animal. Its bottle-shaped snout is short and well-defined, and the upward curve of the mouth gives an appearance of a permanent smile. Names and nick names can certainly be confusing; there are eight dolphin names that feature the word ‘whale’, including pilot whales, killer whales, false killer whales and melon-headed whales. Food is swallowed whole without being chewed. Dolphins are small-toothed Cetaceans, a group of marine mammals that evolved from land mammals. tossing seaweed and other objects to each other, and swimming alongside boats). The belly is white, occasionally with a pinkish hue. Most dolphins prefer tropical and temperate waters as they are warm-blooded mammals and so it is easier for them to regulate their body temperature in these environments. A group of dolphins is called a pod. The common bottlenose dolphin is often found in coastal regions. Your gifts help us take action for whales and dolphins. Dolphins are warm-blooded and have blubber to keep them warm. The sides range from black to light gray. Copyright © 2020 Dolphin Facts: Habitat, Behavior, Diet Description. When the common bottlenose dolphin sleeps, one side of its brain stays awake. Female dolphins usually once reproduce every 3 to 6 years, while males can mate multiple times per year. Fish and squid make up a large part of its diet, but the dolphin will also consume shrimp and other crustaceans. Currently there are 49 dolphin and porpoise species which are grouped into six families: the oceanic dolphin family is by far the largest with 38 members; the porpoise family has seven members; and there are four river dolphin families, each containing just one species. Fish are cold-blooded and are able to adjust to the different temperatures of the water without the need of body fat to keep them warm. Active Wild Pinterest Active Wild Facebook. The ancestors of all Cetaceans were hooved animals of the order Artiodactyla (animals in this order are known as even-toed ungulates). They are also characteristically chunkier than dolphins and have a small head, little or no beak, and a small triangular dorsal fin (except the finless porpoises!). The species is abundant and widespread with an estimated minimum global population of 600,000 animals. Most pods contain anywhere from 2 – 30 dolphins depending on the species and the situation, however there are occasions when pods gather with other pods to form superpods of 100 or even a few thousand dolphins! At birth, orcas are 2.1 to 2.6m (6ft 11in - 8ft 6in). The baiji or Yangtze River dolphin, once found in the Yangtze River in China, is sadly now believed to be extinct. Since there are several species of dolphins, the lifespan varies. The problem causing this rapid decline and indeed the decline of Hector’s dolphin (the other New Zealand dolphin sub-species) in South Island is entanglement in fishing nets. Dolphins are social mammals that interact with one another, swim together, protect each other, and hunt for food as a team. Dolphins have an array of vocalisations such as clicks, whistles and squeals which they use for their well-developed communication and echolocation skills. They’re also the dolphins most often kept in captivity. American Badger Facts, Pictures & In-Depth Information. Most species of fish are also known to lay eggs and can lay hundreds of eggs in a single year. A single calf is born after a gestation period of about 12 months. Dolphins that live closer to the shore are typically lighter in color, smaller in size, and have larger flippers than their offshore counterparts.