Bottlenose dolphins are smart and playful. These beautiful creatures are charming in their appearances and have playful personalities and an excellent memory. They can be found in oceans around the world.
Did you know that there’s more to bottlenose dolphins than their cuteness and intelligence? Yes, you read that right. If you think bottlenose dolphins are just about their appearance and personality, there are a whole lot of things you need to know.
Learn more about bottlenose dolphins from a whole new perspective with these fascinating facts about them.
- Dolphins are voracious nappers.
Dolphins can’t breathe underwater like seals, sea cows, sea otters, whales, and other marine mammals. They must swim to the ocean’s surface for air. Considering that they’re mammals, you might be wondering how dolphins sleep without drowning and why they are considered one of the best nappers in the world.
Unlike humans, dolphins do not sleep for long periods of time, which is why they’re called excellent nappers and not heavy sleepers. They rest their brains for about 20 minutes at a time, and they take these 20-minute naps numerous times a day. They only rest one brain hemisphere at a time, which allows them to remain alert, breathe, swim, and watch for potential predators.
- Dolphins have excellent navigation skills.
To determine where they are relative to other animals and objects underwater, dolphins use a unique process called echolocation. They produce short, broad-spectrum burst pulses that sound like clicks, which travel rapidly through the water. After making these clicking sounds, dolphins listen for their echoes, which allow them to know where they are and learn more about their surroundings.
Echolocation also allows them to “see” objects and animals underwater without actually seeing. It is also useful for avoiding predators and trapping, capturing, and eating aquatic creatures.
- Dolphins have best friends.
Dolphins seem to be just like us humans when it comes to forming friendships. They are extremely social and form lasting bonds. They also come together with other dolphins that share a common interest, becoming friends and avoiding other species. This information is based on a study from the journal Marine Biology, which involved nine years of observations on bottlenose dolphins at the Gulf of Trieste, Northern Adriatic Sea.
Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute also published a study in 2015 in the Marine Mammal Science journal. The findings were fascinating. The scientists studied 200 bottlenose dolphins in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon for six years. They discovered that these animals have friends. Instead of spending their time with all dolphins, they separate themselves into friends groups.
- Dolphins have names of their own.
We understand what you are thinking, but that’s not what we meant. Dolphins don’t wear name tags when they swim. They don’t call one another Sam, John, Mark, or Anna. What we meant by name is that every dolphin has their own whistle that is unique to them. It is known as their signature and is used to maintain group cohesion. Dolphins are also great at mimicking quirky computer-generated sounds.
Scientists believe dolphins use their whistles throughout their lives. Female dolphins teach their calves how to whistle before they are born. Calves will use their mother’s whistle signatures until they can develop their own whistle signatures, which can take around two months. Dolphins may use their signature whistles to call each other, and they may even recall whistles from other dolphins they have not seen for decades.
- Dolphins are members of the U.S. Navy.
Dogs are often seen as the only animal that can help government officials. But other animals can help, too! KDog is a dolphin and a member of the Command Task Force, a special group of mine-clearing teams from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command trains sea lions and other dolphins like KDog for combat to assist the U.S. Navy.
The U.S. military used dolphins during conflicts in Vietnam and the Persian Gulf in the past. Nowadays, dolphins are trained to locate and track underwater mines—whether under the seafloor or on the water surface—and to guard nuclear arsenals. They are equipped with echolocation and intelligence. Beyond their charm, these friendly, playful creatures can be trained to help our military.
If these facts have made you more interested in dolphins, they will surely amaze you with more traits when you see them on your next John’s Pass dolphin cruise.
Dolphins are more than just their cute faces and lovely personalities. They are enthralling sea creatures, too! They are great nappers, and it’s also amazing to know they have their own identifying clicks and friend groups. Their navigation skills are excellent, and some of them are even members of the U.S. Navy.