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  1. Padi Language Selector.
  2. Dolphins have a language just like people do.
  3. The Ministry.

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  4. How many teeth do bottlenose dolphins have?.

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Fascinating Facts for 5+ readers

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Bottlenose dolphin

The site does require a Twitter account. It's hard to imagine experiencing the world through the eyes and ears of another creature. But we'd love to see some YouTube interpretations, and you can have that idea for free. That makes dolphin ears way more impressive than ours, as they can hear to about kHz. But researchers from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland have found a lowly little moth can hear up to kHz. You can't even begin to imagine what the world sounds like to that moth. There's another weird thing you should know about a dolphin's sense of hearing — a lot of them can't hear anything at all.

Scientists don't know what causes this high rate of deafness in dolphins or how widespread the problem is, but either way, popular belief fails again. Listen to dolphins chattering away, and it's easy to assume they're speaking a language a lot like ours. But it's not that straightforward, and we need to clear something up first. Scientists define language in a couple different ways. One is a metaphorical language — it's how we can all appreciate Beethoven — and another is a simply a communication system. We could argue that dolphins can communicate with each other, but so can cats, horses, and sorority girls.

To get to the heart of what defines language, you have to go a bit deeper.

Unusual Fact About Dolphin - Dolphin intelligence - Dolphin Speak To Each Other

There's innate skill, a complex set of rules for pronunciation, syntax, semantics, and sarcasm … we'll just say it's a lot more complicated than Tri Delta's thrilled squeals. To say that dolphins speak a language implies they're making noises that are actual words and sentences with definite construction and laws. There's plenty of evidence that suggests they communicate, but evidence of actual structured language has yet to be found.

When Russian scientists claimed to have proof of dolphin language in , other marine experts pushed back, stating there are too many unknowns to draw that conclusion yet. In the meantime, dolphins will have to be happy with just communicating, and there's nothing wrong with that. We love them anyway. Contrary to what you were told by that nerdy kid in fourth grade, "porpoise" isn't just a smarter, fancier way of saying "dolphin. Like in the above picture of a porpoise.

Dolphins have a long, beak-like mouth like you see in bottlenose dolphins , while porpoises have a flatter face and a smaller mouth. You might not get close enough to see and you really shouldn't , but dolphins also have pointed teeth as opposed to the flat teeth of a porpoise. Dolphins are the talkative ones — porpoises are mostly silent, like the introverted friend at the party — and dolphins are generally leaner and sleeker.

Porpoises, on the other hand, tend to look like they've eaten a few too many pizzas and are currently regretting their life choices.

5 Facts About the Amazon Pink River Dolphin

There are only six species of porpoises and 32 species of dolphins, and an easy way to remember which is which is to think of the dolphin as the frat boy with a lot to say and the porpoise as the slightly tubby, quiet little freshman in the room. Part of the reason dolphins are so awesome is they're said to be the only non-human species that has sex for pleasure.

That's a lofty claim to make, if you think about it. We couldn't find any studies that asked personal questions about other animals' bed-wrestling motivations. We only know by observation, and there's a lot of research almost an unsettling amount? According to the BBC , rats "laugh" and enjoy being tickled. Bonobos hook up in same-sex couples for pretty passionate encounters that are clearly not driven by the need to reproduce, and female lions go through a fertile week where they mate up to times a day.

We're going out on a limb to suggest that's probably not completely necessary, but it does indicate that regardless of how dolphins decide to spend their private time, they're not the only ones who participate in certain behaviors just to feel good. Bottlenose dolphins always look so happy, don't they? Well, buckle up and hang onto your childhood.


Ric O'Barry is the dolphin expert who trained the dolphins that would portray Flipper, which is all the street cred he needs. You might recognize the trainer-turned-activist from the documentary The Cove , and he's also written a book called Behind the Dolphin Smile. I think this multibillion-dollar captivity industry is built on that optical illusion. Dolphin Communication Project research associate Justin Gregg agrees, writing, "Oh, you mean the smile that [ That's not emotion, that's just how their faces look.

Like clowns. No one believes a painted clown face truly signals happiness, so don't believe that captive dolphin is happy, either. You've probably heard that dolphins live in family groups called pods, but that's an oversimplification we probably picked up in kindergarten. The truth is much cooler. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society spent 12 years tracking dolphin movements off the coast of Scotland, and they discovered the benefits of the dolphins' flexible social structure.

Padi Channels

Group members would break off to hunt, and once schools of fish were found, individual dolphins would head out to smaller groups to spread the word about where they could get a good meal. Instead of thinking of dolphins as traveling in devoted family groups like wolves might, think of them as having their own LinkedIn network.

Most of the dolphins we see and hear about live in ocean environments, so it's easy to assume that all dolphins are found in the ocean. But it just isn't the case.