Dolphin Talk

Dolphin Wikipedia Nov 7Dolphins on Finding Their Food:  DolphIns have approxImaTely 199 TeeTh and are In dIfferenT colors (their body, that is, not their teeth)— WhITe, Black, Grey, Brown, YeLLow and even Pink and Blue!Like human beIngs, DolphIns are MammaLs and Nurse TheIr young wITh TheIr MiLk.  They swIm In “schools”, also called “pods”, doIng some ThIngs on TheIr own, Though mosT ofTen are very socIaL – some havIng a shy characTer, and some beIng ouTward and enTerTaInIng, each wITh a unIque personaLITy.  Schools can be aT Times Found In The hundreds; Though River DolphIns are found only a handful In number.  (SpIlsbury; p. 6)They assIsT each oTher In FIndIng Food, carIng and LookIng ouT For One AnoTher and each oTher’s young.  (p. 7)

DolphIns keep warm because of a layer of Blubber, also called FaT, under The skIn.  In contrast, to stay warm, human beIngs have warm foods lIke gInger, blankeTs, Wood Fires, and each oTher!  InTeresTIngly, The Bones ThaT make up a DolphIn’s skeLeTon, are Filled wITh FaT and Oil, causIng TheIr bones To be boyoanT gIvIng Them an easIer Time To FLoaT.  That is so cool!   They move approxImaTely 10-15 km per hr Through The waTer. 

Range:  Eg. SpoTTed DolphIns  have A few hundred Miles / 400 km DIameTer of a Circular Range, TravelIng ~ 45 mIles / 70 km per day. (SpIlsbury; p. 9)

Their buoyant bones allow them to Stay Under waTer abouT 10 mInuTes aT a Time.  Then They surface To breaThe aIr Through TheIr blowhole, whIch has a muscular skInflap ThaT closes for when underwaTer (SpIlsbury; p.11).  Using EchoLocaTIon for finding Food, they eat SquId, KrIll, anchovIes, and mackeral, (small Fish mosTly).  It is InTeresTIng ThaT They eaT JellyFIsh wIThouT beIng harmed by Them – maybe only The small ones!  Because They have such good hearIng usIng echoLocaTIon, ThIs sense Is used more Than sIghT for FIndIng Food.  RIsso’s eaT mosTly squId.  Other River DolphIns eaT Clams, Crabs and Fish. (SpIlsbury; p. 12)  UsIng The nasal sacs found jusT behInd The BraIn, The dolphIn sends ouT sound waves called “EchoLocaTIon” ThaT surround and sIze up an objecT, fIgurIng ouT ITs generaL weIghT and sIze and shape, deTermInIng IF IT Is a Good Food Source.  (SpIlsbury; pp. 13, 14)  SpiLsbury, RIchard and LouIse; A SchooLoF DoLphIns; Illinois: 2004 HeInemann Library;  www. HeInemannLIbrary .com)  

Q – What is it that causes a Dolphin to have boyount bones?  That is, what elements cause their bones to be this way?  WHat other sea mammals have boyount bones?

Author: Ms. Hynes

Specialty: International Education

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