Saturday, August 1, 2009

Smart & Funny By The Pod

When you hear bull, cow and calf, you probably think herds of livestock. Actually, those are the names of dolphins, as well. Their groups are known as pods, and they're a common sight in the waters off our shores. They're far from shy and surface near surfers regularly. It's not unusual to see them catch waves themselves, often in groups.

Found all over the world, dolphins are considered the most intelligent animals, communicating with a series of whistles and clicks. These mammals range from 4 feet and 88 pounds to 30 feet long and 10 tons, as pilot whales and orcas are part of the dolphin family.

The outer layer of their skin has ridges that trap water molecules, which helps them swim with less resistance. Remarkably, this outer surface of their skin is replaced every 2-4 hours. They can hold their breath an incredible 20 minutes.

When we see them migrate along our coast, there is usually a dominant male in the lead, followed by mothers and babies and weaker males, with a strong male following behind as a lookout. Their only natural predator is the shark.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

A fascinating and informative post... dolphins are splendid creatures! I dream of one of those vacations where you "swim with the dolphins"...if only I were a good enough swimmer--LOL! Happy weekend ((HUGS))