10. There are PINK dolphins!
These guys are known as the Amazon river dolphins, and guess what?
They live NOT just in the Amazon, but also in the Orinoco and Araguaia/Tocantins river systems.
They're notable and easily recognizable because theirskin has a pinkish hue. However, there are other cool things about this animal:
It's the largest cetacean to spend most of it's life in freshwater.
They have unfused neck vertebrae, which means they can turn their heads 180 degrees!
There are officially two recognized species of Amazon river dolphins. They're part of the folklore of the people who live around them.
Local folklore speaks of 'encantados,' shapeshifters who look like dolphins by day, but spend their nights seducing people and having illegitimate children with humans.
Deforestation and other human made natural disasters are endangering the pink dolphin, so it's important for everyone to be aware that we're endangering the life of such an awesome creature.
9. Captive Dolphins commit suicide!
One of the major causes of death among captive dolphins is suicide. They kill themselves in many different ways from just refusing to eat all the way to the extreme of smashing their heads against walls!
Dolphins sometime have trouble adapting to new ways of life. For instance, dolphins mainly rely on raw fish diets that they hunt for themselves. When in captivity, they are fed pieces of fish from humans, which can shock the dolphins and send them spiraling into suicide.
Dolphins die from smashing their heads on the walls, but it is not always intentional! Many times, the dolphins will get excited and not understand the boundaries of the tanks they are in, so much so that they accidentally continually crash into them!
8. Dolphins give themselves names
Being one of the smartest mammals on the planet, we're still learning a lot of what they're capable of. One of the most recent discoveries is that dolphins develop their own indiviual whistles that effectively act as their own name.
Scientists tried to use computers to change the tone of the whistles. Dolphins reacted to their name and the names of their close group even when the whistle tone was completely changed.
They also believe that there are many more animals that can do this, we just haven't discovered yet. Who knows what else we'll discover.
7. The World's Tallest Man has saved 2 dolphins!
Bao Xishun is a Mongolian herdsman that holds the Guinness World Record for being the tallest man alive, at 8'1". Of course with a tall body usually come pretty long arms. So veterinarians at an aquarium in north-east China called him when they could not figure out a way to help out a couple of dolphins.
The dolphins had swallowed plastic that was used around their pool and the veterinarians had been unsuccessful at recovering them from their stomachs. The dolphins had lost their appetite and suffered from depression. This is where Bao Xishun stepped in. Using his 1.06m arms, he reached into the dolphins' stomachs and grabbed the plastic out! The dolphins recovered their appetite and were expected to have a full recovery!
6. Dolphins can tell humans apart from other sea creatures using their sonar!
Dolphins and humans, both being mammals, share a more similar skeletal structure than dolphins do with other sea creatures. Scientists think that they are able to recognize humans using this sense. They even appear to be fascinated with pregnant women, because they can sense the embryo growing inside them!
Dolphins also help drowning victims by bringing them up to the surface, presumably because they understand that mammals, like them, can also drown. Check out the video for more info!
5. Dolphins shut down half of their brains when they sleep.
Scientists hooked electrodes to dolphins' heads . That way they could monitor their brain activity throughout the day. What they found: rather than sleeping the way we do, they spend 8 hours every day with half of their brains shut down. They just float around semi-consciously. So if you ever wanted to use a half-sleeping dolphin as a pillow, now you know what to do.
Dolphins are "conscious breathers". That is, they need to think about every time that they breathe. If they went fully into sleep like we do, they wouldn't be able to breathe, and they would die.
4. Bonobos, dolphins, and humans are the only animals to have sex for pleasure
3. Dolphin blubber has super-healing properties.
Scientists have long been puzzled by the ability of dolphins to survive shark attacks and make full recoveries. Dolphins bitten by sharks don’t have to worry about infections from shark bites and their wounds recover completely without any permanent damage. Their blubber contains natural antimicrobial compounds to stave off bacterial infections after an injury. Dolphins also quickly form new fat tissue, collagen, and elastic fibers as a reflex. They have similar healing abilities as a mammalian fetus. On top of that, they are resistant to pain!
2. Dolphins are teaching themselves to "walk" on water with their tails!
1. Homosexuality has been observed in several species of animals.
These include: birds, beetles, sheep, fruit bats, dolphins, among others. The bonobo, an African ape closely related to humans, has displayed strong bisexual tendencies, and 75% of its sexual activities are said to be nonreproductive! Some animals even go through a temporary phase of homosexuality. Young male dolphins often find temporary male sexual partners. Scientists believe this sort of behavior helps to establish lifelong bonds of friendship.