Some Interesting Facts about Dolphins
Dolphins are of the aquatic mammal family Delphinidae. It is estimated
there are between 30 to 40 species of dolphins.1
Although they live in water, dolphins are mammals and breath air
through their blowhole, which is located at the top of their head.
Some types of dolphins must rise to the surface to breathe every
20 to 30 seconds while others can hold their breath as long as 30
Dolphins are highly social, playful, curious and intelligent. They
live in groups or families called Pods.
Dolphins sleep by resting one half of their brain at a time so
that one eye is always open.3 This allows them to rise to the surface
to breathe and to protect themselves from predators.
Male dolphins are called Bulls and female dolphins are called Cows.
A baby dolphin is called a calf. Baby dolphins are born tail first
and suckle from their mother for up to 4 years. Mother dolphins
produce milk that is extremely rich in fat, often up to 50 percent.4
Each dolphin has its own signature whistle to identify itself.5
Dolphins have excellent vision and well-developed eyes.
Dolphins are carnivores eating mostly fish and squid and sometimes
Dolphins have a thick layer of fat under their skin called blubber,
which helps them to keep warm.
Dolphins use a type of sonar called echolocation,
locating objects by producing frequencies with clicking sounds and
listening for the echo. From this they can gather precise information
about the size, distance and location of objects around them. During
echolocation, dolphins emit up to 700 clicking sounds per second.4 Click here to view an example of
- Voiland, Adam. (2005). Cetacean relations. Mote Magazine.
- McGuinness, Lisa., & Jonath, Leslie. (2011). The Dictionary of Ordinary Extraordinary Animals.
- Albee, Sarah. (2010). Dolphins.
- Walker, Sally M. (1999). Dolphins.
- Morell, Virginia (2013). Dolphins can call each other, not by name, but by whistle. Science/AAAS. Retrieved from news.sciencemag.org
More Dolphin Facts
Fact Sheets on different species of dolphins!
Fun Facts @ RainbowDolphin.com
These questions & answers about dolphins contain lots of interesting
charts, resources and more.
at Kids Quest
Enjoy a tour of intriguing questions, answers and interesting facts
A beautiful site with many dolphin facts with pictures.
About Dolphins at Scholastic.com
Questions and answers about dolphins by marine biologist Dan Odell.
Species of Dolphins
To name just a few...
Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin
Dusky Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus)
See the word dolphin in other languages!