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Facts About Dolphin


Facts About Dolphin

1. DOLPHINS CAN BE FOUND ALL OVER THE WORLD AND IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS

There are 36 species of marine dolphins - living in nearly all aquatic environments, including oceans, coastal, estuarine and freshwater - and in temperatures ranging from less than 0°C to more than 30°C. In Britain, bottlenose dolphins are concentrated around west Wales and eastern Scotland - with the coasts of Devon and Cornwall also having pods. Scotland is home to the most northerly pod of bottlenose dolphins in the world.


2. FRESHWATER DOLPHINS

The Amazon river is home to four species of river dolphin that are found nowhere else on Earth.


3. UNDERWATER NOISE POLLUTION IS A REAL THREAT TO DOLPHINS

Marine traffic around the British Isles is amongst the most intense of anywhere in the world. Noise pollution from naval activity, the oil and gas industry, seismic surveys and underwater construction can stress and injure cetaceans. It also severely interferes with their ability to communicate, reproduce, navigate and find prey - sometimes proving fatal.


4. THEY’RE FAST SPRINTERS

Bottlenose dolphins are usually fairly slow swimmers, travelling at about 2 mph. However they can reach speeds of over 30 mph for brief periods!


5. HOW DO YOU EAT A FISH?

Probably not the same as a bottlenose dolphin, that’s for sure! They swallow a fish head first so the fish's spines don't catch in their throat.


6. THEY LIKE TO BLOW BUBBLES

When hunting dolphins produce bubbles to herd their prey to the surface. They sometimes also use a hunting technique called 'fish-whacking', where they use their tail to hit fish and so stun them - making them easier to catch.


7. DOLPHINS ARE CHATTY ANIMALS

Dolphins have some of the most elaborate acoustic abilities in the animal kingdom. They make a variety of sounds including whistles, clicks, squawks, squeaks, moans, barks, groans and yelps.


8. THEY’RE INTELLIGENT, LIKE US

Bottlenose dolphins are one of the few species, along with apes and humans, that have the ability to recognise themselves in a mirror. This is considered 'reflective' of their intelligence. Dolphins are also among the few animals that have been documented using tools. In Shark Bay in Western Australia, dolphins fit marine sponges over their beaks to protect them from sharp, harmful rocks as they forage for fish.


9. THEY CAN TURN OFF HALF OF THEIR BRAIN

Bottlenose dolphins sleep with one half of their brain at a time, and keep one eye open. It's believed they do this to keep an eye out for their group - to make sure they stick together - and to look out for predators like sharks.


10. FISHING GEAR IS A MAJOR THREAT TO DOLPHINS

Bottlenose dolphins are often killed accidentally in gillnets, driftnets, purse seines, trawls, long-lines and on hook-and-line gear used in fisheries. In UK waters, bottlenose dolphins are one of the species most threatened by bycatch. WWF and its partners are working with fisheries across the world to test and encourage the use of sustainable fishing gear. One solution is attaching acoustic alarms, or 'pingers', to fishing nets alerts cetaceans to the presence of fishing gear helping them avoid it.

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