4 facts about dolphins that will blow your mind
Dolphins have always captured the imagination of humans, but oddly enough, there are many things you probably didn't know about these beautiful creatures
1. Dolphins can see sound
No, it's not a superpower. But dolphins use echolocation to see the world around them.
A dolphin's "clicks" travel long distances and bounce off of objects, allowing them to calculate the distance, shape, density, movement, and texture of an object.
Dolphin sonar is the best within the animal kingdom, and is also superior to bat and man-made sonar technology. They have the incredible ability to emit sounds with a frequency of 120 kHz. To put that in perspective, humans with excellent hearing can only hear sounds with frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. However, dolphins generally receive optimal results when the object is at a distance no greater than 656 feet from them.
2. Dolphins name themselves
Scientists have discovered that dolphins develop their own individual whistles (names) to identify themselves and other members of their pods.
Since visibility is often poor in the ocean, dolphins rely on sound to convey messages and communicate. What wasn't known for quite some time, however, was the complexity of their communication, and the awareness that these animals possess.
Identity is very important to dolphins because they're social animals that thrive in groups.
3. Dolphins can shut off their brains
Since they are mammals, dolphins must stay at the surface of the ocean in order to breathe. To sleep, dolphins rise to the surface, leaving their blowholes exposed, and switch off one side of their brain while keeping the other half active to continue breathing and staying alert.
Ever heard the phrase "Sleep with one eye open?" Dolphins literally sleep with one eye open, as their conscious brains remain active while the other half rests.
4. Dolphins like to have fun
Dolphins are social and playful animals, creating lifelong friendships and living in pods with dozens of dolphins.
As part of their social and playful nature, they are known to swim through self-made bubble rings and surf in the waves!
But there is also a deeper purpose to these types of behaviors: dolphins play because it is an important factor in the cognitive development of dolphin calves, and key to them familiarizing themselves with other members of the group.
Click here to learn about the plight of dolphins in entertainment, whose natural behaviors are suppressed in captivity.