6 Fun Facts About Dolphins on National Dolphin Day

Posted on by Sarah Lafontaine

It’s National Dolphin Day and we’ll take any opportunity to celebrate these insanely intelligent, smiley mammals! We’ve put together some facts you may not know about dolphins along with a couple of dolphin conservation programs you can join to help protect them!

They’ve got great metabolism!

Dolphins can eat up to 33 lbs of fish in a day without gaining weight. That’s like a human eating up to 22 lbs of steak in a day and never gaining a pound. In my next life, I demand to come back as a dolphin!

They like to surf!

Dolphins love to ride the wake of ships and boats, essentially surfing. Keep an eye out for these fun-loving surfers on your next cruise or boat trip.

They’re born backward!

Dolphins are born tail first, but there’s a good reason! Being born tail first prevents drowning. Once the mother breaks the umbilical cord, she returns quickly to bring the baby to the surface so it can breathe.

They have names for each other!

Dolphins have developed a way of calling out to each other by using a unique whistle which mimics the individual they are trying to communicate with. It’s compared to using names for each other.

They don’t chew their food!

Maybe not the best dinner guest, dolphins don’t use their teeth to chew. Their teeth are meant to grasp their food, but they don’t use them beyond that.

They’re related to Orcas!

Orcas are part of the dolphin family and are the largest members. The traits they share include their intelligence, athleticism, and teeth rather than plates of baleen.

There are several programs around the world that work to protect dolphins. Consider making your next vacation a conservation-based one at any of these fantastic programs:

Blue World Eco-Volunteering Program, Croatia

Photo credit: Blue World

Volunteers at this program will assist with data collection, research trips, data entry, lectures and more at the education centre. It’s a great chance to learn all about dolphins, teach what you’ve learned to visitors and help collect important data with researchers and conservationists in a gorgeous European location.

Earthwatch Institute’s Dolphin Tracking in Sloveni

Photo credit: Earthwatch Institute

Increased boat travel is dangerous to dolphin and other sea life populations globally. Researchers in Slovenia have been conducting research for years and volunteers at the program here play an important part in the collection of the data. If Europe is on your radar this year, definitely check this program out!

Working Abroad — Dolphin Research in Greece

Photo credit: Working Abroad

You’ll get the chance to work alongside researchers and participate in photo-identification, inspections, monitoring and more. You’ll be based in a small coastal village in Greece and runs during the summer months, so it’s perfect for a summer vacation!

 

References:

http://facts.randomhistory.com/2008/11/20_dolphins.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23410137