Cheerful whistlers of the ocean

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Dolphins hold the trophy for being the most playful and intelligent creature in the Animal World.Even though dolphins spend their lives in the water, and almost look like fish, they are not fish, but are mammals.The name ‘dolphin’ comes from the word womb, and it is believed to be the Greek, saying for fish with a womb.Dolphins give birth to calves, other than laying eggs like fish. There are 43 species of dolphins found in the world. There are 38 marine dolphins and five river dolphins.

Breath ‘in – out’ ‘out – in’
Regardless of the fact that they live underwater, and can hold their breath for up to seven minutes, dolphins must come to the surface to breathe air. Some of them leap up to 30 feet in the air to do so. They are very entertaining due to the leaps that they make out of the water. Dolphins too need to sleep, but how do they do this without drowning? They let half of their brain to sleep at a time. While one half sleeps, the other half is enough awake to keep the dolphin from drowning. Dolphins may float at the surface while sleeping or swim slowly to the surface every now and then for a breath.

Dolphin societies
Dolphins live in social groups of five to several hundred.These groups are called pods.Some pods migrate and travel around the world, while others have a specific territory. Dolphins establish strong social bonds; they will stay with injured or sick individuals, even helping them to breathe by bringing them to the surface if needed. Sometimes they have display culture; something long believed to be unique to humans. It has been discovered some types of dolphins teaching their young ones to use tools. They cover their snouts with sponges to protect them while. Within their groups, dolphins like to play. They have been observed, creating bubble rings with their blow holes, spinning them with their beaks, and then breaking them apart by biting them. Also Dolphins have a strange ability to get recovered rapidly from extreme injuries such as shark bites. so they are bit tolerate to predators.

Chirps, clicks and whistles
Dolphins have very good vision, and they are able to see what is around them both under the water, and when they are above the surface of it in an angle of 360 degrees. But the most interesting fact is that they have an excellent hearing, with the ability to hear about 10 times better than humans. Dolphins communicate with each other using a collection of chirps, clicks and whistles, which act as a sonar system called echolocation. When the clicking sounds hit an object in the water, like a fish or rock, they bounce off and come back to the dolphin as echoes. Echolocation tells the dolphins the size, shape, distance, speed, and location of the object.Each dolphin has a signature whistle which is identical to itself. When it get lost or isolated, it uses the signature whistle to call out to the pod.

Dolphins in captivity
As they are intelligent enough to understand complex commands and displaying playful behaviors people used to keep them in captivity at profit-driven water parks and zoos. The dolphins at water parks may seem happy, when they entertain us: doing backflips for crowds, eating food out of our hands. But the truth is they are tortured and force trained for all those. Also it is recorded that most captive dolphins die earlier than their general life span due to the misery in captive environment. They deserve to live freely and happily. So, if we love them, the best thing is to allow these magnificent animals to live their lives in dignity.

The writer currently works as a graduate (Zoology) researcher at the
Peradeniya University

Source -www.want2 donate .org

A Dolphin in captivity                                                          

A dolphin pod at red sea                                                             
Pic by- Natalia Pryanishnikova

Playful dolphins                           
National Geographic/Pic by - Alan Deakins

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