sleep with one eye open (dolphin edition)

dolphins sleep eye

Fact: Dolphins sleep with one half of their brain plus one eye closed, then switching to the other side of the brain and the other eye closed during other parts of the day — slowing down everything inside their bodies and moving very little.

More dolphin fun facts:

  • Dolphins are carnivores (meat eaters).
  • The Killer Whale (also known as Orca) is actually a type of dolphin.
  • Bottlenose dolphins are the most common and well known type of dolphin.
  • Female dolphins are called cows, males are called bulls and young dolphins are called calves.
  • Dolphins live in schools or pods of up to 12 individuals.
  • Dolphins have excellent eyesight and hearing as well as the ability to use echolocation for finding the exact location of objects.
  • Dolphins communicate with each other by clicking, whistling and other sounds.
  • Fish and squid are the diet of the common dolphin, where the dolphins have been seen hunting and working together to herd the fish into tight balls. Dolphins can eat up to 30 lbs of fish a day!
  • Some dolphin species face the threat of extinction, often directly as a result of human behavior. The Yangtze River Dolphin is an example of a dolphin species which may have recently become extinct.
  • Some fishing methods, such as the use of nets, kill a large number of dolphins every year. [An excerpt from the World Wildlife Fund (2005) concerning the order Cetacea, which includes both whales and dolphins: “The greatest threat to whales, dolphins and porpoises is entanglement in fishing gear, also known as bycatch. If current trends continue unabated, several cetacean species and many populations will be lost in the next few decades.”]
  • Baby dolphins are sucked forward by the motion of their swimming mothers, giving them a needed assist, when they position themselves to the right and behind their mothers.
  • The dolphin is the only mammal that gives birth with the tail first instead of the head.
  • Dolphins don’t smell very well.
  • Young dolphins will remain with their mother for a period of 2 or 3 years.
  • There are two stomachs for dolphins just like for cows. The first one stores the food for them and the second one is where digestion takes place.
  • A dolphin may be able to dive up to 1,000 feet. And can leap up to 20 feet in the air.
  • The dorsal fin on every dolphin is very unique and it can be used to identify them from each other.
  • Dolphins can swim at a speed of up to 25 miles per hour for a long time. This is about 3 times faster than the fastest humans in the world.
  • The average lifespan of a dolphin is 17 years. However, some of them that have been observed in the wild lived about 50 years.
  • Most species of dolphins live in saltwater but some of them thrive in freshwater.
  • A dolphin needs to get air at different intervals. Some need air every 20 seconds but others only need it every 30 minutes.
  • A dolphin has about 100 teeth! However, they use the teeth to grab their prey, not to chew it. All food is swallowed whole.
  • They have a fast healing process for their bodies even when they have deep wounds such as those that are the result of shark bites. Experts haven’t been able to determine how this is possible for dolphins when other mammals would hemorrhage.
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