Q:

Do dolphins have a backbone?

A:

Quick Answer

Dolphins belong to the subphylum Vertebrata, meaning that dolphins are animals with backbones. Oceanic dolphins are toothed whales within the family Delphinidae, while river dolphins are included in the family Platanistidae.

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Full Answer

Dolphins are usually less than 10 feet in length. They have a beak-like snout called a rostrum and small teeth. The diet of the dolphin is strictly carnivorous and is largely composed of fish and squid, although orcas are capable of hunting large whales. Dolphins are found in oceanic bodies of water globally, save for the Caspian and Aral Seas. Dolphins produce a wide variety of vocalizations to communicate with other dolphins and incapacitate prey.

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  • Q:

    What sounds do dolphins make?

    A:

    Dolphins produce whistles, clicks, and sounds that resemble moans, trills, grunts and squeaks. They primarily use lower frequency vocalizations for communication and higher-frequency sounds in echolocation, to seek out food and other objects.

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  • Q:

    Are dolphins cold blooded?

    A:

    Dolphins are warm-blooded, not cold-blooded. This is because dolphins are classified as marine mammals, rather than fish. Dolphins maintain consistent body temperature just like other warm-blooded animals.

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  • Q:

    How big do dolphins get?

    A:

    Dolphins grow to different sizes, with the bottlenose dolphin growing to be approximately 10 to 14 feet and weighing 1,100 lbs. while the orca whale grows to approximately 21 to 23 feet long and weights in at 6 to 10 tons. The orca whale is actually a dolphin and not a member of the whale family, reports Defenders of Wildlife.

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  • Q:

    How do dolphins reproduce?

    A:

    Dolphins reproduce by engaging in intercourse during the female's ovulation period. A female may mate with more than one male dolphin during her fertile time, and males may even travel together with one fertile female and take turns mating with her. Competition can get fierce among male dolphins during a female's estrus.

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