Dolphins in our world

Dolphins in our world

Parent & Teacher Guidance
Dolphins in our world

Did you know that a dolphin is not a fish! It is actually a mammal and closely related to us!

In this issue we learn more about dolphins, other cetaceans and marine life in our world and we find out some more about what they are and where we might see them around Wales. We consider potential dangers facing dolphins and other sea life and the rights and wrongs of keeping such beautiful wild creatures in captivity.

Not many people are aware that a dolphin is a very intelligent creature, it is said that the brain of a bottlenose dolphin, as seen around the coast of Wales, is larger and heavier than the human brain! Unlike many marine species they are able to recognise themselves in a mirror, which shows that they have self awareness!

Whilst they were for many centuries considered to be one of the fish family, we now realise that they are actually mammals even though they live in the sea. There are over 40 different species, but the one you will be most likely to see here is the bottlenose dolphin. All dolphins, porpoises and Orcas (also called the Killer Whale) are part of the group of animals called cetaceans (pronounced “set-ay-sians”). They are also very clever because they use sound – called echolocation to hunt and to understand their surroundings.

They are very agile and can jump and leap and it is said that they can dive down up to sixty metres below the surface; think of it, that’s as deep as the height of ten houses. They can also leap out of the water (this is called breaching) and they can swim very quickly.

In Wales they can often be seen in Cardigan Bay and often swim alongside boats and ships like the ferries that sail across to Ireland.

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