Dolphins are marine mammals and fully adapted to live in water. It is generally believed that dolphins are some of the most incredibly intelligent creatures on earth. They belong to a group of mammals called Cetaceans, which also include all whales. Besides, dolphins are warm blooded and use the blow hold at the top of their heads to breathe air like other land animals although they live in the sea. There are 32 different species of oceanic dolphins, 5 species of river dolphins, and 6 species of porpoises. Bottlenose dolphins, the genus Tursiops, are the most common and well-known members of the family of marine mammals. They are distributed all over the world in both temperate and tropical waters. These dolphins live in small groups called pods. The size of a pod varies from about 2 to 15 individuals. In the Pacific, bottlenose dolphins are found from northern Japan to Australia and from southern California to Chile. In the Atlantic Ocean, they are found from Nova Scotia to Patagonia and from Norway to the tip of South Africa. In the Indian Ocean, we can find them from Australia to South Africa. Most dolphin species are about 6 ft in length. The males averaging 4 to 8 inches longer than females. The largest marine mammal is the killer whale, which can be 19-22 feet long and weigh 8000-10000 lbs. The bottlenose dolphin is one of the largest dolphins. However, the size of a bottlenose dolphin alters significantly with habitat. In essence, bottlenose dolphins from the Atlantic Ocean can reach an average of 2.5 to 2.7 m (8.2-8.9 ft) and weigh between 190 and 260 kg (419-573 lbs). On the other hand, bottlenose dolphins from the Pacific Ocean can reach 3.7 m (12ft), with an average weight of 454 kg (1000 lbs). In the Mediterranean, they can grow up to 3.7 m (12 ft) or more. Typically, well-developed males are slightly larger and considerably heavier than females. Nevertheless, young females grow more quickly than males until they reach the age of 10 years....
Cited: Defenders of Wildlife - Protection of endangered species, imperiled species, habitats. Web. Nov. 2009. .
DolphinEAR Hydrophones. Web. Nov. 2009. .
Dolphins Plus-Swim with Dolphins! Swimming with dolphins at Florida 's best dolphin swims. Web. Nov. 2009. .
HubPages. Web. Nov. 2009. .
NASA - Home. Web. Nov. 2009. .
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Web. Nov. 2009. .
North american wildlife | pets. Web. Nov. 2009. .
Science News, Articles and Information | Scientific American. Web. Nov. 2009. .
SeaWorld/Busch Gardens ANIMALS - HOME. Web. Nov. 2009. .
Welcome to The Dolphin Place - Information about dolphins and whales. Web. Nov. 2009. .
Please join StudyMode to read the full document