Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

posted: 04/29/14
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Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Allow me to introduce Myself: I'm an Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Where You'll Most Likely Find Me: Tropical oceans and salt water around the world

What I Like to Eat: Fish on the bottom of the ocean, shrimp and squid

Betcha Didn't Know This About Me: Since we need air to breathe, we only sleep with one half of our brain taking slumber at a time while the other half breathes. This technique allows us to get some shut eye while we are swimming and breathing.

King of the Sea: Many people think we dolphins are fish, but we are not. We are mammals just like humans. We have to come up to the surface of the water for air to breathe through the blowholes in our heads that open and close.

I'm a TV Star: Flipper was a Bottlenose Dolphin. You know the character from the popular TV show that ran from 1964 through 1967? Yep, that was us. By the way, the character, Flipper, was played by five different females dolphins.

Famous Relative: Our dolphin cousins are the Orcas (also known as killer whales). They are also screen stars. (Remember the 1977 movie, Orca? It scarred us too).

Family Affair: We are extremely social mammals and swim together in family groups that are called pods. Sometimes there are about a dozen dolphins in our pods, while other times, hundreds of us get together.

Mealtime: We don't see that well so we rely on our strong hearing skills to navigate the dark, murky waters. While looking for food, we make noises or "ultrasounds" that resemble squeaks and clicks not audible to the human ear. These sounds travel throughout the waters, bounce off the fish and eventually come back to us. This process is called echolocation and takes us to the location of our next meal and even lets us know its size and shape.

Our Weight: You may feel the need to watch your weight, but we don't. Blubber is the dense body fat around our bodies that keep us warm in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It also provides energy for us when food sources run low.

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