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.