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Dolphins Anatomy, ecology, behavior and popularity
Some Background Info: There are about 60 different species of dolphin Dolphins cannot smile Trivia: The name dolphin is applied to species that have beaklike snout and slender body and the name porpoise is given to species that have blunt snouts and a stocky body. US military trained dolphins to detect mines in the Gulf
Anatomy Brain and Sense Organs Locomotion Feeding
Brain…and Sense Organs Brain is Large and Developed
Nose, Eyes, and Ears Almost no sense of smell Eyes are well developed Ears are most important sense
Communication Do not emit sounds with voice box Sounds pass through tissues of the head Sounds can travel hundreds of miles Fatty Organ: Melon Echolocation
Locomotion Swing tail through the water Forelimbs used for navigating Fins resemble flat oars (five fingers) Dorsal fin stabilizes body
Locomotion continued… Tail Fluke Body is efficient for locomotion Must come to the surface for air My0globin
Feeding Prong-like teeth Fish, Crustaceans, squid and mollusks
Held in Captivity Dolphins used in tourism Used for breeding, tricks, research etc Kept in sea pens, aquaria's Used in feeding programs or “swimming with the dolphins”
Welfare Capture can be stressful and dangerous Mortality rate increased 6 fold Do not live as long as their wild counterparts Behavior abnormalities due to captivity include: Aggressiveness, increased sexual behavior, self harming, and vomiting.
Welfare continued… Reasons for early death include: Physical injury, shock, ulcers, heat stroke etc Habitats designed to appeal to tourists and not to the animals needs Confined to small swimming pools