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Marine Dolphins - Research Paper Example

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Author Tutor Course Date Marine Dolphins Introduction Dolphins are known as small cetaceans, though some dolphins are quite large. They can mature up to a length of over 20 feet. The biological classification of dolphins is as follows: Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Cetacea Sub-order Odontoceti Family Delphinidae Genus Delphinus Species delphis From the classification, the scientific name for dolphin is Delphinus delphis…
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Download file to see previous pages Other dolphins have a varied diet that may include lobsters, crabs, squid, shrimps and fish. The dolphins bear live young ones and feed the young ones with milk. Many marine dolphins are facing extinction due to human activities, but some laws have been formulated to protect their existence (Nakamura 64). Types of Marine Dolphins The major types of marine dolphins are pacific bottlenose, rough-toothed, spotted dolphin and spinner dolphin. The bottlenose dolphins are the most famous of all cetacean species. The scientific name for bottlenose dolphin is Tursiops truncatus. Rough-toothed dolphin has vertical grooves that run from the gum line to the tip. The scientific name for rough-toothed dolphin is Steno bredanensis. Spotted dolphins are of smaller size than rough-toothed or bottlenose dolphins. They have a dark cape that extends from their forehead to the dorsal fin. The scientific name for spotted dolphin is Stenella attenuata. Spinner dolphins are smaller than the spotted dolphins. The spinner dolphins got their name from their spinning behavior. Their scientific name is Stenella longirostris (Shirihai 77). Adaptations of Marine Dolphins Like other marine animals, dolphins have become adapted to the sea life. Anatomically, the bodies of the dolphins are streamlined to enable them to move more efficiently in the aquatic environment. The streamlined body ensures fast movement of the dolphins as it reduces the resistance of water when the dolphin is moving. The hind limbs of the dolphins have disappeared, and front limbs are developed into flippers (Gordon 26). This helps the dolphin in steering balance and changing direction. The dolphins have a powerful tail, which helps in propulsion. The speed under which the dolphins move at is closely related to the feeding habit of the dolphin. Research has shown that those dolphins that feed on slow moving prey do not exceed a speed of 10 mph. Other dolphins that feed on fast moving fish species usually attain a speed of up to 15 mph. In addition, dolphins have a smooth skin. The dolphin’s skin is thick, hairless and lacks glands. It is kept smooth by the constant slough and replacements. For example, the bottlenose dolphin replaces its outermost skin layer after every two hours. This smooth skin of the dolphin increases the speed at which the dolphin moves. Like other marine mammals, the dolphins have a thick layer of blubber below their skin. This layer of blubber is important since it insulates the dolphins against heat loss. The dolphins rely on their sense of hearing to detect any danger around them. The sense of hearing in dolphin is a very complicated behavior referred to as echolocation. Echolocation is where, a dolphin emits a series of split clicks by its blowhole focusing the sound to the melon and the melon directs the sound pulses in a directional beam. When the directed sound waves hit an object on its path, it is reflected back to the dolphin, and the dolphin detects an obstruction ahead on its way. Through echolocation, a dolphin is capable of detecting the distance, size, shape and direction of movement of objects in water (Smolker 54). Factors Affecting Marine Dolphin Population Tuna and Dolphin Issue Dolphins and Tuna often swim together. The tuna tries to take advantage of food finding tactics of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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