Most dolphin species are about 6 ft in length, the males averaging 4 to 8 in longer than females. The largest
is the killer whale, which can be 19-22ft long and weigh between 8000-10000lbs. One of the largest dolphins is the bottle-nose dolphin which can reach over 9ft
in length and weigh 440 lbs. The smallest species is the buffeo, found in the Amazon River. The buffeo rarely grows over 3.9
ft in length and 66 lbs in weight, really smalled compared to the bottle_nose.
Dolphins feed on live food and are predators, except when trained otherwise in captivity. The primary food is fish, mostly
things like herring, mackerel, and sardines. Some species seem to prefer squid, occasionally, shrimp and other crustacean
are consumed, and even mollusk shells have been found in their stomach contents. Food consumption is estimated at about 66
lb a day for an individual about 8.2 ft in length and 220 lb in weight
The dolphin is capable of diving for up to 20 minutes at 300 meters, this is to be considered as maxima for a bottle-nose
dolphin although in some experiments they have dived to about 500 meters. Usually, bottle-nose dolphins will not dive very
Dolphins are extremely and almost constantly vocal. They are capable of two kinds of sounds. A specialized
mechanism in the nasal passages just below the blow-hole enables them to emit short, pulse-type sounds. These sounds, called
clicks, can be produced in such rapid succession as to sound like a buzz or even a duck like quack. The clicks are used as
a form of sonar, in which echoes of sounds from surrounding objects enable the animals to detect obstacles, other dolphins,
fish, and even tiny bits of matter in the water. The military uses dolphins and this ability to help them find water minds.
This ability is termed ECHOLOCATION. Some Scientists have speculated that dolphins also use the sounds to deliver an acoustic
shock for stunning of killing small prey.
Deeper in the respiratory system--presumably in the larynx--dolphins produce another type of sound: a high
pitched whistle of squeal, which is capable of rapid pitch changes. The whistles differ from the clicks in being essentially
single tones. Apparently the dolphin used the whistles to communicate a particular emotional state and thus influence the
behavior of other dolphins. Typically, the squeals denote alarm or sexual excitement.