I have loved dolphins ever since I was a little girl. The first dolphin I ever saw was during a summer trip to the beach. However, it wasn’t until my trip to Sea World that I began to understand how talented and smart these sea animals really are.
There are 3 different families of dolphins. There are the oceanic dolphins, the ocean and river dolphins, and the toothed whales. There are almost 40 different species of dolphins. The smallest are about 4 feet long and weigh 88 pounds and the largest are about 30 feet long and weigh 20,000 pounds. The largest dolphin is the Orca, also known as the “killer whale.” The Orca is called a whale but belong to the dolphin family. The most popular dolphin is the “bottlenose dolphin.” These are the ones we see on TV, movies, and water shows.
Dolphins eat different kinds of food. Some eat fish such as mackerel, cod, and squid. Orcas may eat other marine mammals, such as sea lions or sea turtles. The dolphins get their food by herding, whacking, stunning, or corralling the animal.
Lastly, dolphins are smart, social animals. They live in groups called pods or schools. There may be as many as 1,000 dolphins together at one time. Dolphins are good friends. They talk to each other, care for other dolphins when they are injured and have even been known to protect people.
Have you ever dreamed of swimming with the dolphins? Some people have actually gotten to do this. Dolphins are beautiful, intelligent, and friendly. However, people must remember that they are still wild animals. They will at times act like the wild animals they are. So, we must give them the respect and space they deserve. The sea is their home and we are the visitors. [continues]
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