Facts about Dolphins

Dolphin fact #1

In humans, when we breathe, it is something we don't have to think about. A part of our brains, called the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) tells our bodies to breathe. For Dolphins, this isn't the case. In fact, a dolphin has to consciously make a decision to take a breath each and every time. This brings us to Dolphin fact #2.

Dolphin fact #2

A Dolphin cannot breathe then, if it's brain is shut down to sleep. Well, Dolphins are very special, because they only sleep with one part of their brain at a time. If you look at our "How are Dolphin's Brains Different from Ours" page, you will see that the dolphin actually has something similar to two seperate brains. So, one part of the brain will sleep, while the other part takes care of breathing. Then, the first part will go to sleep, while the second part continues to breathe. A Dolphin will continue to sleep like this until he is rested. These cycles take two to three minutes each. At night, those naps increase to seven or eight minutes.

Dolphin Fact #3

Dolphins are very smart creatures. They are fast learners, and can generalize about subject, just like pigs can. Dolphins sometimes have been described as being as intelligent as a two year old human child. Dolphins can even learn to understand complicated commands, even bits of language, which they can use to communicate in a simple way with their trainers.

Dolphin Fact #4

Dolphins eat several kind of fish, and squid. How much a dolphin eats depends alot on what type of fish or squid they eat. Some fish, such as mackerel or herring, have alot of fat in them. This means that a Dolphin will get alot of energy from eating these fish. However, squid does not have much fat, so a Dolphin has to eat more squid to get the same kind of energy it would get from fish. On average, however, a 250 kg dolphin will typically eat between 10 kg and 22.5 kg of fish every day.

Dolphin Fact #5

The life expectancy of a Dolphin differs from region to region. For instance, in Sarasota Bay, the life expectancy of a Dolphin has been measured to be nearly 25 years. In the Indian/Banana River region, the life expectancy of a Dolphin has been calculated to be between 10 and 14 years. The maximum ages that Dolphins have been recorded to have lived have been between 40 and 50 years. Dolphins in captivity have not shown any difference in life epectancy from wild Dolphins.

Dolphin Facts Page #2