Dolphins Essay

1619 words - 6 pages


        Dolphins are small toothed whales that

belong to the group known as cetaceans.

Cetaceans includes all whales, dolphins, and

porpoises. The term dolphin and porpoises

had often been used interchangeably in the

past, but scientists found a way to

distinguish the two. Scientists distinguish

the two by their teeth; porpoises have spade-

shaped while dolphins have cone-shaped

(Cerullo 4). Dolphins are predators who prey

on either fish or squid(Leighton 18). "There

are about thirty or forty species of

dolphins." Bottlenose dolphins are one of

the most wide-ranging species. Bottlenosed

dolphins live along tropical and temperate

coasts around the world. Atlantic white

sided dolphins frequently live in frigid

waters while hourglass dolphins are found in

Antarctic waters (Cerullo 4). Narwhal

Ha 2

dolphins, Ganges River dolphins, Hector

dolphins, Beluga dolphins, Black dolphins,

Spotted dolphins, and Striped dolphins are

some other species (Corrigan 10-20). " I

learned that they deserved their reputation

for friendliness, playfulness, complex social

behavior, and group loyalty" said one

scientist (Cerrulo 2-3). Dolphins are

talented and intelligent mammals.

        They have streamlined bodies

that allow them to move through the water

easily since they are smooth and rounded.

They also have a strong tail, called a fluke

and all dolphins have a flipper to help them

steer when they are swimming (Leighton 9-

10). Another thing that dolphins have is a

dorsal fin and some even have beaks (Corrigan

15). They also have one blowhole which

allows them to breath.

        "There are solid-color dolphins,

dolphins with patches of color, spotted

dolphins, and striped dolphins (Corrigan

10)." They have a thick fat layer beneath

their skin known as the blubber. The blubber

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insulates them from the cold water. It also

"... streamlines their shape, acts as an

energy reserve, and makes them buoyant." The

blood vessels in their fins and flippers also

help them conserve body heat(Cerullo 6).

        The biggest dolphin can grow to

the size of a speedboat, but many of them

grow as big as an adult human. The smallest

ones are the size of a big dog (Leighton 9).

        Striped dolphins have two black stripes,

one runs down to the flipper and the other

runs down the whole length of the dolphin.

Spotted dolphins have spots on them and their

age can also be determined by how many spots

they have. Ganges River dolphins are

almost blind and can only distinguish between

light and dark. Narwhal dolphins have

unusual teeth and their tusks grow to be

almost ten feet long. Hector dolphins are

the smallest dolphins and Beluga dolphins are

white. Black dolphins have a dark gray body

with a white throat and belly. Beluga

dolphins and Narwhal dolphins are found in

the Arctic regions. Black dolphins

Ha 4

are found in the coast of Chile...

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