Dolphin Trivia, Part II

After yesterday's depressing post about the Chinese Yangtze River dolphin going extinct, I thought it'd be nice to wrap up the year on an "up" note.   So, in continuation of my previous installation of dolphin trivia, here's Part II:

  • Dolphins are bald — their skin contains no hair follicles, sebaceous or sweat glands. &nsbp; Their skin is 10-20 times thicker than human skin and is lined with hydrodynamic ridges that allow fast dynamic swimming.
  • Dolphins can sunburn easily and will often take advantage of shade to protect themselves.
  • Dolphins move their eyes independently (similar to a gecko lizard) which allows them to see from different angles at the same time when hunting or watching for predators.
  • Dolphins have a "chambered" stomach.   The forestomach does the mechanical breakdown of whole food.   Their conical teeth are only used to grasp (not chew) food.
  • Since they lack an olfactory nerve, dolphins have no sense of smell.   They do have a sense of taste, however, and often show personal preferences for certain kinds of fish.
  • Dolphins don't have vocal cords.   Instead, they use the muscles inside the blowhole produce squeaks, clicks, moans, warbles & other communicative sounds.
  • Dolphin mothers often whistle continuously for several days after giving birth.   Initially, the mother's whistle is uniform, but then it acquires a "signature" characteristic.   Scientists believe this is how she teaches her offspring its name.