Fin Fun

by the Clubhouse staff

Bottlenose dolphins are the most popular type and are often seen in movies, such as Flipper and Dolphin Tale.

Bottlenose dolphins:

-can jump 20 feet into the air.

-have 80 to 100 teeth.

-understand hand signals.

-like when you clap for them.

-can read body language.

-don’t like when people grab their flippers from behind.

Dolphins communicate by using complex sound signals: clicks and whistles. Each dolphin has its own unique click-and-whistle pattern, like a name. When a dolphin is alone or separated from its group, it will call out its “name” 60 to 90 percent of the time. If another dolphin hears the pattern, it will copy it and mimic it back.

Once contact has been made and the dolphin has rejoined the group, the clicking “conversation” continues, but the dolphin only says its name 1 or 2 percent of the time. Dolphins are such good mimics and so good with sound that they’ve been taught to count in English and speak simple phrases, such as “stop it,” “more” and “bye-bye.”

Flipper Facts

Dolphins can stay underwater for 15 minutes before surfacing to take a breath.

Dolphins use echolocation, or radar, to spot food and navigate around predators.

The largest male dolphins are around 13 feet long and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds.

Nellie, a 58-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, is the oldest dolphin in captivity.

The fastest dolphins can swim around 19 mph.

Copyright © 2011 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission.