It adapts to captivity better than the common dolphin, which is timid. Some can also re-route blood from tissue tolerant of water pressure to the heart, brain and other organs. While dolphin attacks occur far less frequently than attacks by other sea animals, such as sharks, some scientists are worried about the careless programs of human-dolphin interaction. The name is originally from Greek δελφίς (delphís), "dolphin",[2] which was related to the Greek δελφύς (delphus), "womb". One common feeding method is herding, where a pod squeezes a school of fish into a small volume, known as a bait ball. Though not quite as flexible as seals, some dolphins can travel at speeds 29 km/h (18 mph) for short distances. Dolphins are one of the most intelligent animals in the world that have excellent communication capabilities. This consists of an experience with other dolphins that modifies the signal structure of an existing whistle sound. [112] The brain to body mass ratio in some is second only to humans. For most of the smaller species of dolphins, only a few of the larger sharks, such as the bull shark, dusky shark, tiger shark and great white shark, are a potential risk, especially for calves. 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Hundreds if not thousands of bottlenose dolphins live in captivity across the world, though exact numbers are hard to determine. The healing process is rapid and even very deep wounds do not cause dolphins to hemorrhage to death. [68] The gestation period varies with species; for the small Tucuxi dolphin, this period is around 11 to 12 months,[69] while for the orca, the gestation period is around 17 months. "Dolfin" was the name of an aristocratic family in the maritime Republic of Venice, whose most prominent member was the 13th Century Doge Giovanni Dolfin. Because of their body form, however, cetaceans were commonly grouped with the fishes. The Japanese government recommends that children and pregnant women avoid eating dolphin meat on a regular basis. Facilities such as SeaWorld and the Georgia Aquarium are accredited by the AZA. Dolphins are highly social animals, often living in pods of up to a dozen individuals, though pod sizes and structures vary greatly between species and locations. Fish and squid are the main food, but the false killer whale and the orca also feed on other marine mammals. [80][81] Some species also whack fish with their flukes, stunning them and sometimes knocking them out of the water. Dolphins are still being trained by the United States Navy for other tasks as part of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program. [110], Brain size was previously considered a major indicator of the intelligence of an animal. In humans, the middle ear works as an impedance equalizer between the outside air's low impedance and the cochlear fluid's high impedance. Male dolphins typically mate with multiple females every year, but females only mate every two to three years. Dolphins also seem to have been important to the Minoans, judging by artistic evidence from the ruined palace at Knossos. Information regarding current population levels and trends remains elusive for many dolphin species. Dolphins were also the messengers of Poseidon and sometimes did errands for him as well. Mukhametov", Photographer Captures Stunning Killer Whale Attack on Dolphin, "Emerging diseases in marine mammals: from dolphins to manatees". During the 2009 excavations of a major Mycenaean city at Iklaina, a striking fragment of a wall-paintings came to light, depicting a ship with three human figures and dolphins. [87], Bottlenose dolphins have been found to have signature whistles, a whistle that is unique to a specific individual. [5], The term 'dolphin' can be used to refer to, under the parvorder Odontoceti, all the species in the family Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins) and the river dolphin families Iniidae (South American river dolphins), Pontoporiidae (La Plata dolphin), Lipotidae (Yangtze river dolphin) and Platanistidae (Ganges river dolphin and Indus river dolphin). Dolphins were sacred to both Aphrodite and Apollo. The bottlenose, characterized by a “built-in smile” formed by the curvature of its mouth, has become a familiar performer in oceanariums. [176][177] Tião had suffered harassment by human visitors, including attempts to stick ice cream sticks down her blowhole. Mothers of some species fast and nurse their young for a relatively long period of time. Furthermore, even gaping wounds restore in such a way that the animal's body shape is restored, and infection of such large wounds seems rare. Wild males who survive infancy live 31 years on average, and up to 50–60 years. A number of species are attracted by moving ships and often accompany them, leaping alongside and sometimes riding the waves created by the ships’ bows. Their escape is prevented by closing off the route to the ocean with other boats or nets. The military use of dolphins, however, drew scrutiny during the Vietnam War when rumors circulated that the United States Navy was training dolphins to kill Vietnamese divers. In addition to their streamlined bodies, some can slow their heart rate to conserve oxygen. [71] They usually become sexually active at a young age, even before reaching sexual maturity. What's Killing Bottlenose Dolphins? However, dolphins are an informal group which is not self-contained taxonomically. ", "Dolphins keep lifelong social memories, longest in a non-human species". Dolphins are sometimes used as symbols, for instance in heraldry. This term has often been misused in the US, mainly in the fishing industry, where all small cetaceans (dolphins and porpoises) are considered porpoises,[8] while the fish dorado is called dolphin fish. All are carnivorous, feeding on fish, squid, and other invertebrates. (cf Ino.) Calves are typically born in the spring and summer months and females bear all the responsibility for raising them. Most river dolphins live in fresh water that may be several thousand kilometres from the sea, although some spend their lives in coastal waters.

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