There are over 40 species of dolphin that exist today and they come in all shapes and sizes. Species range from 1.7 metres and 50 kilograms to 9.5 metres and 10 tonnes.
Dolphins are aquatic mammals that give birth to live young. A dolphin’s gestation period can last between 11 and 17 months depending on the species. Dolphins give birth to a single calf and nurse them for up to 18 months. Besides humans, dolphins are the only mammals known to engage in non-reproductive sexual activity.
Dolphins are very social and intelligent creatures. They live in groups called pods and communicate with each other through an array of different vocalisations. Dolphins have been known to help other sick or injured dolphins by lifting them up to the surface for air.
Dolphins use echolocation to sense their surroundings. By making a clicking sound, they can sense the echo that comes off an object or prey, which helps them sense how big the object is as well as where they are.
In countries like Japan, dolphins are hunted for their meat, which is unsustainable and endangering. Dolphins are also under threat from by catch and pollution.
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