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How many teeth do dolphins have?

How many teeth do dolphins have?

Dolphin eating a salmon

Most dolphins have equal-sized conical shaped teeth in both upper and lower jaws (porpoises’ teeth are spade-shaped) perfect for grasping fish and squid. Like most mammals, newborn dolphin teeth are still embedded in the gums. Their teeth will start erupting in the first 5 weeks of life. Dolphins have one set of teeth to last…

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Where do dolphins live?

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin

Dolphins live in the world’s seas and oceans and in some rivers too. Some dolphin species prefer to live in coastal areas, others like shallow water but prefer to live away from the coast close to patches of shallower water which are located further out to sea. Orcas and long-finned pilot whales can be found…

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How are dolphins different from fish?

Bottlenose dolphins leaping

Dolphins vary from fish in a number of ways. Both dolphins and fish have adapted to live their whole lives in the water, both have streamlined bodies and fins. But, dolphins are mammals and so they need regularly visit the surface to breathe air to survive, otherwise they would drown. Fish on the other hand…

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How many species of dolphins are there?

Orcas in far east Russia.

Currently there are 49 dolphin and porpoise species which are grouped into six families: the oceanic dolphin family is by far the largest with 38 members; the porpoise family has seven members; and there are four river dolphin families, each containing just one species. However, classification is not an exact science and as more information…

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Do whales and dolphins grieve for their dead?

Scientists have now observed seven species of whales and dolphins mourn their dead pod mates and relatives in their own ways. For the very first time, a team of researchers recently reported seeing dead calves or juveniles being carried by adult Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, orcas, Australian humpback dolphins and sperm whales, in some instances…

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How do dolphins sleep?

Short-beaked common dolphin

Dolphins sleep in a very different way to the way we humans do. Humans have prolonged periods of unconscious sleep and we are not aware of our surroundings for periods of time while sleeping. Humans have a breathing reflex and when we sleep or become unconscious, we continue to breathe automatically. Do whales and dolphins…

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How do dolphins communicate?

A group of Commerson's dolphins

Communication amongst whales and dolphins is achieved in several ways. They create sounds, make physical contact and use body language. Large whales can communicate over huge distances (across entire ocean basins) using very low frequencies. Dolphins and porpoises however, usually use higher frequencies, which limits the distance their sounds can travel. In general, dolphins make…

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Do whales and dolphins have hair?

Humpback whale head

All mammals have hair at some point in their life and dolphins are no exception. Dolphins have a few whiskers around their snout in the womb and when they are first born but they soon lose them. Amazon River dolphins (botos) keep these hairs into adulthood – they are sensory hairs and thought to help…

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Why do whale and dolphin tails go up and down?

Unlike fish, whales and dolphins evolved from four-legged animals with limbs underneath their bodies, their backbones naturally bend up and down and not side to side. It is also why their tail fins are horizontal and not vertical like those of fish. The tail fin, or fluke, is used for propulsion through the water. Although…

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Do whales and dolphins have families?

Yes they do. Social connections are evident in all species of whales and dolphins – they just love to be together. The family associations among them vary in terms of the kind or degree of closeness and longevity of the relationships. The bond may be loose and temporary or it may be permanent. Dolphins are…

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