What do dolphins do?
Dolphins have evolved to become incredibly efficient at hunting. They spend a few hours a day looking for food and catching it, but their methods are so effective that they have hours left to entertain themselves. They can often be seen socializing with different species of dolphin and do not seem to be afraid of humans. Dolphins are also known to have sex for pleasure and are one of the very few animals to do so.
Hunting plays an important part in the dolphin’s day. Marine dolphins tend to hunt in groups, hugely increasing their chances of finding food and reducing the amount of time and energy required to catch it. Dolphins will herd groups of fish, trapping them between members of their pod. They will then take it in turns to feast on the fish which are unable to escape. Once they have eaten their fill they will be free to spend the rest of the day entertaining themselves or sleeping.
Dolphins are mammals and do not have gills. This means that they have to return to the surface at least every 20 minutes to take a breath. If they forget, they will drown. This makes sleeping difficult, so instead of falling completely unconscious, dolphins only shut down one half of their brain at a time. This means that they can rest part of their brain without actually having to sleep. Studies have shown that at least some species of dolphin can continue to perform tasks such as hunting even when half of their brain is asleep. The fact that they don’t require much sleep and that they can sleep on the move means that they have even more time in their day left to enjoy themselves.
Most species of marine dolphins are incredibly active and social animals. The species of dolphin which live further out to see can travel up to 40 km in one day and are constantly on the move. One of the reasons that humans are so fascinated by dolphins is there propensity to play and to build time in to their day purely for their own enjoyment.
They regularly ride the bow waves created by boats for no other reason than because it is fun. They put on impressive aerial acrobatic displays and some species have even been known to purposefully eat toxic animals so that they experience hallucinatory effects.Dolphin Facts | Dolphin Information | Dolphin Species | Dolphins FAQ