Inspire your child to learn more about sea life and marine biology by sharing these dolphin facts for kids. Kids love dolphins and other marine mammals. Maybe it’s their playful nature and joyful way of life we find so fascinating. Introducing your child to sea creatures like dolphins is sure to spark their curiosity.
Let’s face it, no child can resist the overload of cuteness when they see a dolphin. If you’ve ever taken a child to the aquarium or marine park, it’s a given that much of your time was spent with the dolphins. Dolphins continue to be a favorite animal of many children today. And with fascination comes curiosity.
The more a child learns about dolphins, the more they grow to love them. This love helps children feel connected to other living creatures and instills a protective mindset for the natural world. Here are 5 dolphin facts for kids, that are sure to quench any child’s never-ending curiosity.
5 Super Interesting Dolphin Facts for Kids
How Many Species of Dolphins Are There?
As of today, researchers have discovered 42 species of dolphins around the world. The bottlenose dolphin is the most well-known species of dolphins. These are the ones we most often see when we visit the aquarium, or any tropical resort. While the bottlenose is most popular, the popoto, also known as Maui’s dolphin, is the smallest. It’s also the rarest dolphin in the world. The largest dolphin to swim our oceans is the orca, otherwise known as the “killer whale.” Yup, you read right! While the killer whale is often mistaken for a whale, it is actually the largest member of the dolphin family. You learn something new every day, right?
Where Do Dolphins Live?
Dolphins live everywhere. Where there’s a body of water, there are sure to be dolphins swimming freely within. Dolphins live in every part of our oceans. That doesn’t mean that all species of dolphins live in the same neighborhood. The bottlenose can be most commonly found in temperate or tropical waters, and in bays, harbors, and lagoons. However, orcas are mostly seen in cold-water seas, like the Northwest Pacific. Other species, such as the Chinese White Dolphin, generally inhabit the warmer waters of China, such as Peng Chau, The Soko Islands, and Lantau.
What Do Dolphins Eat?
Dolphins eat a large variety of different sea critters all over our earth’s oceans. What a dolphin eats mostly depends on what species you are referring to. The bottlenose dolphin’s diet may consist of different crustaceans, squid, and fish, while the tucuxi dolphin eats a variety of fish and shrimp. Other dolphins, such as the pink Amazon River dolphin, prefer to eat creatures such as crabs, catfish, river fish, and sometimes even turtles. How much a dolphin consumes a day also depends on the species, as well as the size of the dolphin.
How Do Dolphins Navigate?
Dolphins need to be able to navigate the many obstacles of the ocean. However, the blurry waters of the deep make it almost impossible for them to see with their eyes. That is where echolocation comes in. Echolocation is the use of sonar to determine where objects are. Sonar are sound pulses that dolphins use to detect how close or far away objects are by measuring the echo after the sound has been reflected. Dolphins aren’t the only animals to use echolocation to navigate the world. Other animals such as whales, shrews, and even bats use echolocation to help them detect their surroundings.
How Long Do Dolphins Live?
Dolphins can live a very long time in the wild. Once again, it mostly depends on the species. Bottlenose dolphins can live between 30 to 50 years, although they are often preyed upon by larger sharks and other dolphins. The Commerson’s dolphin generally has a lifespan of 10 years, while the Hector’s dolphin has a lifespan ranging from 20 to 25 years. While most species of dolphins tend to live fairly long lives, the orca, or killer whale, has the longest lifespan of all. They typically living for 70 to 80 years in the wild. That’s long enough to see their little dolphin grandbabies!
Other Fun Dolphin Facts for Kids
While human pregnancy lasts only nine months, a dolphin’s pregnancy can last a little longer than that. Dolphins can be pregnant for up to 17 months! Could you imagine carrying a child for a year and a half? Kudos to you, momma dolphin!
Some dolphins were reportedly trained Nave Seals. Allegedly, dolphins were trained to protect the U.S Navy Base in Vietnam. They were armed with hypodermic needles that were filled with a lethal amount of carbon dioxide. At ease, soldiers!
Dolphins can name each other. Research shows that dolphins have the capability of calling out to individual dolphins. They do this by mimicking the distinct whistle of the dolphin they want. They can also identify object this way. Cool, right?
One of the most fascinating dolphin facts for kids to learn is that dolphins don’t breathe automatically. Dolphins are mammals and have lungs, just like humans. However, unlike humans, who have the ability to breathe involuntarily, dolphins have to remember to breathe. As a result, dolphins cannot be fully unconscious, or fall into a deep sleep. They sleep with their blowholes above water, and only allow half of their brains to sleep. This is so that they can stay alert and be able to breathe.
Dolphins love humans! Unlike most animals who typically like to avoid humans, dolphins love to interact and play with us. They especially love to play with children. They also seem to have a fascination with pregnant women.
These are just a few of the many mind-blowing dolphin facts for kids to learn. Dolphins are truly among the most fascinating creatures of the world. Not only are they extremely smart, they also continue to surprise us all with their amazing capabilities. There are so many interesting dolphin facts for kids to learn about each species of dolphins. It it would be impossible to learn it all at once. With the right resources, you could find dozens of cool dolphin facts for kids to learn. And as stated earlier, the more a child learns about dolphins, the more they grow to love them!