Dolphin Facts for Kids

Fun Dolphin Facts for Kids

Welcome, young marine explorers, to our exciting and educational article on dolphin facts for kids! If you’re eager to dive into the fascinating world of these intelligent marine mammals, you’ve come to the right place.

From their playful behavior to their remarkable communication skills, we’ll explore the enchanting world of dolphins and uncover amazing facts that will leave your child in awe.

Join us on this journey as we share intriguing dolphin facts for kids that are both fun and educational! 

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Dolphin Facts for Kids

What are dolphins?

Dolphins are cetacea marine mammals.  

Dolphins might seem a bit different from other mammals like cats or dogs, but they are actually very similar in many ways.

First, let’s remember what makes an animal a mammal. Mammals have hair or fur on their bodies, breathe air, and give birth to babies instead of laying eggs. They also feed their babies with milk from their moms’ bodies.

Now, let’s see how dolphins fit into this! Dolphins have smooth skin, but when they’re babies, they have tiny hairs on their snouts.

They breathe air through a blowhole on the top of their heads, just like we breathe through our noses.

When dolphins have babies, the mom dolphins give birth to live babies instead of laying eggs. And just like other mammals, dolphins feed their babies with milk from their mom’s bodies.

So what does marine mammal mean? This just means they live in the ocean. Dolphins are really good at swimming and can dive deep down into the water to find food and explore.

There are 36 species of dolphins, 32 types of ocean dolphins, and four types of river dolphins. A female dolphin is called a cow. A male dolphin is called a bull. A baby dolphin is called a calf.

Where do dolphins live?

Most dolphins call the ocean home. You know, the big, vast body of water that covers most of our planet. But guess what? Dolphins aren’t picky about where they live; they’re like ocean explorers! They can be found swimming and playing in all the oceans around the world!

Dolphins prefer to live close to the coastline and can be found in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, or Arctic Oceans.

Dolphins aren’t just ocean creatures. They can be found in rivers, too!

One river where dolphins live is the Amazon River. It’s a long river that winds through the rainforest in South America. In the Amazon River, you can find a special kind of dolphin called the Amazon River dolphin, or pink river dolphin because they’re pink!

Another river where dolphins hang out is the Ganges River in India. It’s a sacred river, home to another type of dolphin called the Ganges river dolphin.

What do dolphins eat?

Dolphins have two stomach parts. One stores food, and the other digests the food. Dolphins have 100 teeth! Let’s find out what they like to eat.

Dolphins have a diverse and interesting diet, just like us! They eat different kinds of food depending on where they live and the type of dolphin they are.

Some dolphins are called “fish eaters.” They love to gobble up fish like herring, mackerel, and anchovies. These fast swimmers use their sharp teeth to catch and eat their favorite fishy treats.

But that’s not all! Other dolphins, called “carnivores,” eat more than fish. They also enjoy munching on squid and octopus, slippery and slimy creatures that live in the ocean.

Here’s something fascinating: Some dolphins are known as “ocean hunters.” They work together as a team to hunt for food. They might surround a school of fish and take turns diving in to catch their meal. It’s like a dolphin dinner party!

Dolphins also like to eat shrimp and crab, small crustaceans that live on the ocean floor.

Dolphins cannot chew with their teeth.  This is because they do not have jaw muscles to help chew.  Dolphins eat by swallowing their food whole.

Dolphins eat about 5% of their body weight daily.

dolphin jumping out of the water
Dolphin

Dolphins are Playful

Dolphins are social animals and are playful.  They like to jump out of the water and ride waves.

Some dolphins can jump as high as 30 ft out of the water!

Many tropical vacation spots offer an interactive dolphin experience where people can touch or swim with the dolphins.

Sometimes, dolphins will swim next to boats. This behavior is called bow-riding.  Some scientists believe they do this to conserve energy while swimming.

They communicate with other dolphins using clicking and whistling sounds.

Dolphins are intelligent.

They have good eyesight and great hearing.  Dolphins can hear better than humans!

Types of Dolphins 

There are many more types of dolphins out there, each with its own special characteristics and habitats.

The Bottlenose Dolphin is one of the most well-known dolphins. They have a sleek body and a cute little snout that looks like a bottle, which is where their name comes from.

Bottlenose dolphins are very friendly and smart.

The popular bottlenose dolphin featured in a lot of movies is approximately 8ft long and 665 pounds.

Now, let’s talk about the Spinner Dolphin. These dolphins are known for their playful nature and acrobatic skills. They love to jump out of the water and spin in the air, which is how they got their name.

Spinner dolphins have a unique color pattern with a dark back, light sides, and a white belly.

Another interesting type of dolphin is the Amazon River Dolphin, also known as the Pink Dolphin. They live in the Amazon River in South America.

What makes them special is their pink color! These friendly dolphins are pink because they have many blood vessels near their skin’s surface.

Did you know an Orca or Killer Whale isn’t a whale at all but a dolphin?

Orcas are the largest species of dolphins.  Orcas can be 25ft long and 19,000 pounds.

Maui’s Dolphins are the smallest dolphins.  They are about 4ft long and 90 pounds.

Dolphin swimming in the ocean.

Echolocation

Dolphins use echolocation to find food and navigate. Echolocation is the ability to determine location by high-pitched sounds. Let’s explore this further.

Echolocation is like using sound to “see” your surroundings. When dolphins want to find objects or other animals in the water, they make a special sound called clicks by blowing air out of their blowhole.

These clicks travel through the water and bounce off objects like rocks or fish, similar to a ball bouncing off a wall. When the sound bounces back to the dolphin, it creates echoes.

Dolphins listen closely to these echoes. They can tell how long the echoes take to return and how loud they are. By paying attention to these echoes, dolphins can figure out the size, shape, and distance of objects around them.

It’s almost like they create a mental map of their environment using sound!

 Bats also use echolocation.

Dolphin Facts for Kids

Dolphins never fully fall asleep; part of their brain always stays awake. Remember that dolphins are mammals and need air to breathe. They must stay awake in case they need to come up for air. Dolphins breathe air from a blowhole at the top of their heads.

Dolphins can swim 25 miles per hour.

They swim by moving their tails up and down.

The fin on its back is called a dorsal fin.

Dolphins live in a group called a school or pod.

Sharks are dolphins’ only predators.

Humans are a threat to dolphins. Dolphins are killed because they get caught in fishing nets.

 

Mamma and Baby Dolphin
Mamma and Baby Dolphin

Baby Dolphins

Dolphins do not lay eggs.

Dolphins give birth to babies underwater.

After babies are born, mother dolphins bring their babies up to the surface to breathe.

Baby dolphins drink milk from their mothers.

Babies stay with their mothers until they are able to search for food on their own.

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these incredible creatures as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing these fascinating dolphin facts with you. From their sleek bodies to remarkable abilities, dolphins are extraordinary marine mammals.

Remember, the ocean is a big world, filled with countless creatures waiting to be discovered. Continue to explore, ask questions, and embrace your curiosity.

Who knows what other fascinating creatures you might encounter on your next underwater expedition?

Free Printable Dolphin Coloring Pages