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Dolphins are among the most social animals that live in the sea. They are friendly towards humans and are very playful in nature. Dolphins are also happy animals that have been observed to possess higher intellect than most of the other animals. Below are some interesting facts about dolphins.
What they Eat: Dolphins are primarily carnivores. They prey on squid, crustaceans and fish. They are heavy eaters, with a 260-pound dolphin estimated to consume approximately 33 pounds of fish each day.
Intelligence: Dolphins are highly intelligent animals that are popular for their playfulness. Their smartness is compared to that of apes and their large brains evolve in a similar fashion to that of humans.
Social Tendencies: These aquatic animals are very social. They not only play in large groups but also live and hunt together. Dolphins live in large pods that can have up to or even more than 1,000 members. Of course commonly associated with the ocean, dolphins are also closely linked to the state of Florida. They even have a football team named after them – the Miami Dolphins.
Gestation and Birth: The gestation period of dolphins range between 9-17 months depending on its species. Dolphins are maternal after birth and are known to nestle and cuddle their young. A dolphin’s calf is nursed for about 2 years. The calf stays with the mother for between 3 and 8 years.
Senses: Dolphins have acute senses whether in or out of the water. Their eyesight is sharp with a well-developed sense of touch. Their hearing is also very efficient. An average dolphin hears frequencies 10 times that an upper limit of an adult human hears. They are however without a sense of smell.
Breathing: Dolphins are mammals. To breathe therefore, they have to rise to the water surface. They have separate holes for breathing and eating, a characteristic that distinguishes them from most of the other animals.
Species: There are 43 known species of dolphins, five of which are river dolphins. The remaining 38 are marine dolphins.