Dolphin

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Introduction1

Dictionary

dolphin : any of various small marine toothed whales (family Delphinidae) with the snout more or less elongated into a beak and the neck vertebrae partially fused

Note: While not closely related, dolphins and porpoises share a physical resemblance that often leads to misidentification. Dolphins typically have cone-shaped teeth, curved dorsal fins, and elongated beaks with large mouths, while porpoises have flat, spade-shaped teeth, triangular dorsal fins, and shortened beaks with smaller mouths. — Webster

OneLook, Free Dictionary, Wiktionary

Encyclopedia

Dolphins are a widely distributed and diverse group of aquatic mammals. They are an informal grouping within the order Cetacea, excluding whales and porpoises, so to zoologists the grouping is paraphyletic. The dolphins comprise the extant families Delphinidae (the oceanic dolphins), Platanistidae (the Indian river dolphins), Iniidae (the new world river dolphins), and Pontoporiidae (the brackish dolphins), and the extinct Lipotidae (baiji or Chinese river dolphin). There are 40 extant species of dolphins. Dolphins, alongside other cetaceans, belong to the clade Cetartiodactyla with even-toed ungulates. Their closest living relatives are the hippopotamuses, having diverged about 40 million years ago.

Dolphins range in size from the 1.7 m (5.6 ft) long and 50 kg (110 lb) Maui’s dolphin to the 9.5 m (31 ft) and 10 t (11 short tons) killer whale. Several species exhibit sexual dimorphism, in that the males are larger than females. They have streamlined bodies and two limbs that are modified into flippers. Though not quite as flexible as seals, some dolphins can travel at 55.5 km/h (34.5 mph). Dolphins use their conical shaped teeth to capture fast moving prey. They have well-developed hearing which is adapted for both air and water and is so well developed that some can survive even if they are blind. Some species are well adapted for diving to great depths. They have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin to keep warm in the cold water.

Although dolphins are widespread, most species prefer the warmer waters of the tropic zones, but some, like the right whale dolphin, prefer colder climates. Dolphins feed largely on fish and squid, but a few, like the killer whale, feed on large mammals, like seals. Male dolphins typically mate with multiple females every year, but females only mate every two to three years. Calves are typically born in the spring and summer months and females bear all the responsibility for raising them. Mothers of some species fast and nurse their young for a relatively long period of time. Dolphins produce a variety of vocalizations, usually in the form of clicks and whistles. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica

Portal

Dolphins Science Tracer Bullet (Library of Congress)

Search

WolframAlpha

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Innovation

Science

Researchers Find That Dolphins Call Each Other By ‘Name’ (Eyder Peralta, NPR)
Dolphins Name Themselves With Whistles, Study Says (James Owen, National Geographic News)

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Preservation

History

Dolphins in History and Present Day Culture (Awesome Ocean)
Natural History of Dolphins (Dolphin Research Center)

Library

WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library

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Participation

Education

Course

OER Commons: Open Educational Resources

Community

Organization

The Dolphin Institute
Dolphin Research Center
American Cetacean Society

News

Science Daily, Phys.org, NPR Archives

Book

ISBNdb

Government

Document

USA.gov

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Expression

Arts

The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins (Hal Whitehead and Luke Rendell)

Poem

OEDILF: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form

Music

Song Lyrics

returntotop

More News …


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Related

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Notes

1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.