University of Phoenix
Instructor Nancie Harris
There are currently 33 diverse species of dolphin that exist in lakes (freshwater) and oceans (saltwater) of the world. Each species of dolphin, whether marine or river, has an anatomy which allows them to thrive in certain conditions. The anatomy of the dolphin has been enhanced throughout the years in order for them to continue to adjust to their domain. This paper will break down the adaptions in the anatomy of one freshwater dolphin, the Atlantic Bottlenose, and how its physiological traits have evolved to become suited to its particular environment. Every species of dolphin which exists in every ocean of the world, has a specific designed anatomy which allows them to survive in the waters. Each characteristic from the thickness of their skin to the design of their outer body, helps the dolphin to survive in the ocean their entire life. The Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin, which can be found more inshore, has certain features which allow them to survive in more tropical water. This species has evolved completely from the likes of its ancestors. “Cetaceans have shed most of the external traces of their terrestrial ancestry and are supremely adapted to underwater life” (Tmmsn, 2008). The body of this cetacean or marine mammal has changed drastically which permits faster speed in the water. The tail of the dolphin or the fluke, propels their large bodies quickly through the water. Their bodies have become more symmetrical and proportioned which according to Texas Marine Mammal Network, (2008), “improves hydrodynamic efficiency”. Unlike its ancestors, the evolved bottlenose dolphin has improved features which allow them to better adapt to life underwater. Along with a more streamlined, sleek body, evolution of this dolphin include the fins, flippers, neck, skin, and nostrils. Each of these features have been enhanced through the natural selection process. The nostrils in particular...
References: Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. (2008). Atlantic bottlenose dolphin anatomy.
Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. (2008). (Diagram).
Dolphin Research Institute. (2005). Bottlenose dolphin. Retrieved from. http://www.dolphinresearch.org.au/bottlenose.php
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