Dolphins

If you have ever been to a Sea World, or numerous other Aquariums, you have no doubt seen and maybe touched a dolphin. The bond between dolphins and man has been around since he first realized they were there.


 


Some of the dolphin Species

The Pantropical Spotted Dolphin can be found in all the world's temperate and tropical oceans. These dolphins form small groups of 30 to 1000's of  members depending on migration patterns.  This ocean mammal is a fast swimmer that often engages in a range of aerial acrobatics and will frequently ride the bow waves of boats.
After 17 years of study, scientists have determined that humpback dolphins inhabiting the waters of northern Australia and New Guinea are unique and should be classified as a separate species: Sousa sahulensis (pictured). Informally called the Australian humpback dolphin. It has a lower dorsal fin than those of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean humpback dolphins. It is also dark gray in hue, with a darker gray cape over its back*.
There are 43 species of dolphins found in the world.There are 38 marine dolphins, and 5 river dolphins. The larger ones can weigh 8 - 10 tons and be close to 30 feet long. The smaller ones are about 90 pounds and 4- 5 feet long. Some of them can leap up to 30 feet in the air. Historic and modern day incredible accounts of dolphins rescuing humans have been documented.

The Bottlenose dolphin, (pictured at the top of the page), is the most commonly found dolphin.
Bottlenose Dolphins use a technique called echolocation to find food and navigate,
accomplished by sending ultrasounds through the water which is bounced back to the dolphin and  detected by the dolphin in an organ called mellon which decodes the message, PERSONAL SONAR!

​Bottlenose dolphins cooperate among each to get food. To do this, they work in teams to optimize efforts.

Dolphins make a "Mud Net" to trap fish

Did You Know?

When it comes to creating games, dolphins know few rivals. Many of them enjoy a game of catch, perhaps with a fish or even a turtle, throwing the animal back and forth to each other with no intention of eating it. Then there are activities that remind us of our games of tag. One dolphin will nudge another a few times to indicate its willingness for a game, then high speed pursuit will take place through the sea, as they take turns chasing each other.
. They have distinct personalities, a strong sense of the self and can think about the future.
They are also 'cultural' animals, with new types of behaviour being picked up by one dolphin from another. In one piece of research, bottlenose dolphins were shown to be able to recognise themselves in a mirror and use it to inspect various parts of their bodies

 Kelly, a dolphin who lives in a research centre in the US, has been trained to keep her tank clean. Every time she brings a piece of litter to her trainer, she is rewarded with a fish. So she’s built upon the idea. Now, when she finds a piece of paper, she wedges it under a stone, and tears off individual pieces, which she brings to the surface one at a time. Thus, a single piece of litter earns her several fish. She’s also noticed that gulls come to her tank, hungry for fish. So she uses one of her fish as bait, catches the unwary birds, and presents them to her trainers for even more food. She has not only created these remarkable strategies by herself, but she’s even passed them on to her calf.
 Billie, a dolphin who became trapped in a sealock in the 1980s, was rescued and rehabilitated in captivity before being released back into the wild just three weeks later. Scientists were amazed to see that, upon her return to the seas, she started tail-walking, a trick taught in marine parks for rewards that she must have observed, even though during those three weeks she was not trained herself. To have picked up the skill so rapidly is one thing… but Billie was soon teaching her wild companions to do the same. 
Some dolphins have taken their play to, quite literally, extraordinary heights, and teamed up with other animals in the process. Film has been revealed of amazing games between bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales off Hawaii. The dolphins swim onto the nose of the whales, which then raise themselves out of the water to a great height, so that the dolphins slide down their heads with a great splash. As the game is repeated over and again, it seems clear that both individuals are enjoying it.
The link will take you to a video of dolphins making and playing with Bubble Rings. It also shows whale Bubble rings.  Other types of rings which have no relevance are featured after those 2 segements.

All whales and dolphins belong to the order "cetacea". They are thus, all cousins in a sense. The whales are divided into two classes - toothedwhales and baleen whales. Toothed whales include the sperm whale, killer whale and the dolphins (which are small toothed whales). Dolphins have several highly developed forms of communication. They have a “signature whistle” which allows other individuals to recognise them.