Delightful Dolphins of the Deep
sailors have said that it is good luck to see dolphins swimming alongside
boats. Their presence meant that land was near, which would be vital
information if a boat and her crew were in danger. Some dolphins have even
protected shipwrecked sailors from
sharks. It is no wonder that
these unique and fascinating creatures have long been known as our friends.
You may think
dolphins are fish, but they are actually mammals. They
are related to whales and porpoises,
and they evolved
around 10 million years ago. Dolphins breathe air,
give birth to live young, and feed
them milk. They are social animals, living together in groups called pods or
schools that range in size of up to
12. In places rich in food, many schools can combine together to form pods
of up to 1,000 dolphins.
thought to be intelligent animals because of their playfulness, curiosity,
and quick ability to learn. They seem to
communicate with each other through a
combination of squeaks, whistles, and clicks. While scientists don't know
what they are going on about, it is thought that dolphins are telling each
other that food is nearby, or
warning each other of approaching danger.
Dolphins use sonar to discover an object's size, shape, and location. By
sending out a series
of clicks and
receiving the echo that bounces off
the object, they can
differentiate between a shark and a boat.
dolphins have faced increasing danger in recent years. Fishermen
in pursuit of profitable tuna
may accidentally trap dolphins in their nets, killing them in the process.
These intelligent mammals of the sea
deserve our protection and respect.