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    My name is Kelly, and I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite sea animals...dolphins.  There are many types of dolphins, but the one I like best, is the Bottle Nose Dolphin.  You can view the whole page or you can select a topic that interests you by clicking on the links below:

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Dolphins

A dolphin (aquatic mammal) is a fast-swimming mammal who belongs to the order Cetacea, which also includes whales and porpoises. Sleek and powerful swimmers, dolphins are found in seas throughout the world; some inhabit freshwater rivers and lakes.

There are at least 40 species of dolphins.

Dolphins throughout the world are threatened by habitat destruction and pollution. Many people have hunted dolphins for food and for the oil found on the animal's head. (The oil was once widely used as a lubricant.) Although the hunting had declined in the 20th century, many dolphins are still killed when they become trapped in nets to catch tuna.

 

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Characteristics

Characteristic features of most dolphins are long snouts with rows of sharp teeth, and rounded foreheads with a blowhole. Dolphins are warm-blooded, breathe air, and nurse their young on milk. Dolphins can be small (tucuxi) dolphin, which grows to about 4 ft and weighs about 110 pounds, to the size of a killer whale, which can grow to 32 ft and weigh over 12,100 pounds.

Dolphins are black, brown, and gray in color.  Two finlike flippers near the front of the body help stabilize and steer.  Horizontal tail flukes, composed of tough connective tissue, move up and down to propel the animal through the water.  Many dolphins have a dorsal fin in the middle of the back, which helps the animal maintain balance.  Dolphins jaws have 250 teeth or more.  The eyes contain elastic lenses that expand and contract.  Dolphins use echolocation (use of reflected sound to perceive surroundings) to find food.  They breathe through a blowhole on the top of its head.

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Bottle Nose Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins  ride the waves made by moving ships. They are seen along beaches and in shallow bays and live in the warmer waters. Bottlenose dolphins may interact with humans.

Bottlenose dolphins are grayish in color and reach a length of 13ft and weight of 1,430 pounds.  They have large teeth, with 20 to 25 pairs in both the upper and lower jaw.  They eat fish, squid, and crustaceans.

Bottlenose dolphins  travel in small groups of two to five dolphins near shore, but several hundred can be seen together in deeper waters. Offshore they often are found in the company of other dolphin species, most notably pilot whales.

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Dolphin Table

Type

Length

Weight

Teeth

Bottle Nose Dolphin 13ft 1,430lbs 20-25 pairs
Indian River Dolphins 8ft 200lbs 26-39 pairs
Franciscana Dolphins 5.6ft 30-35kg 51-59 pairs

 

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Web Sites

You can find out more on dolphins by visiting these web sites and many others:

 

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Adopt a Dolphin Web Sites

You can also help the dolphins by donations or even adopting a dolphin.  For more information on this visit these web sites:

 

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