Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Hector’s dolphin is a native New Zealand dolphin and the rarest and smallest of dolphins in the world.

Hector's Dolphin

Hector’s Dolphin (Author: James Shook cc 2.5)

The Hector’s dolphin is the only dolphin native to New Zealand and also the smallest in body size of all dolphins worldwide.

They have small rounded heads and a distinct tear-drop shaped dorsal fin, and flat flippers. Their upper body is usually black or gray with a white under-belly.

These are social creatures often seen moving and playing together in groups of two to as many as fifty individuals.

The Hector’s dolphin suffers immensely from entanglement in fishing nets and the problem is so severe that one of the subspecies, the Maui dolphin, has just 55 adults left in the wild.

1) Scientific Name

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The Amazon River Dolphin is the largest in size among river dolphins and generally regarded as the most ‘intelligent.’

Male Amazon River Dolphin

Male Amazon River Dolphin (Author: Michelle Bender cc by-s.a. 2.0)

The Amazon River dolphin is a species of toothed whale and the largest in size among the river dolphin species.

It’s also generally considered as the most intelligent with a little less  than double the brain mass of a human being.

This dolphin lives only in freshwater: specifically in the larger Amazon River basin. Individuals grow pink in color as they age, therefore leading to the common nickname “pink river dolphin”. 

Hunting for use as bait is a major threat to these sea mammals. Also, loss of habitat and entanglement in fishing lines.

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Keeping dolphins in captivity remains a controversial subject with many arguments for and against it. 

Two bottle nose dolphins: Dolphins in captivity

Two Bottlenose Dolphins: Aren’t They Better Off In The Sea?

Due to the remarkably high cognitive abilities of dolphins, they have become a popular target for dolphinariums, water parks and other amusement centers.

In fact, keeping dolphins in captivity has grown over time to become a big industry.

In recent times, you can even find them on display in places like casinos, and malls playing around and doing tricks to catch your attention. The most commonly captured dolphins are the common bottlenose dolphin and the orca or killer whale. The bottlenose dolphin in particular is a favorite because it’s relatively easier to maintain and train than the orca.

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The Chinese White Dolphin is a rare variety of dolphin with a distinct body coloration.

Adult Chinese white dolphin

Adult Chinese White Dolphin off the coast of Lantau Island, Hong Kong (Author: Leonard Redback cc. by-s.a. 4.0) 

The Chinese white dolphin is a rare dolphin variety of the Indo-Pacific humpbacked species. It inhabits portions of Southeast Asia and Australian waters.

Though they are called ‘white,’ they are really not white in color. Its skin appears pink because of blood vessels just under the skin which were overdeveloped for thermoregulation.

This pink color is most noticeable among the population along the Chinese coast.

They have a long beak, conical teeth, a triangular-shaped dorsal fin with a humped back, and streamlined body shape.

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Get to see wild dolphins in their natural habitat in any of the locations listed below.

Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) NOAA.jpg

Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Courtesy: NOAA PD)

Getting to see wild dolphins is a choice activity among animal lovers and it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry.

Luckily, it’s not that hard to see them. These friendly, and interesting creatures are distributed in many spots around the world so you may not have to go too far to enjoy their acrobatic displays in a natural environment.

However, some locations are better than others and you may even get to see other marine creatures like whales while you’re there!

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Whales and dolphins have so many similarities that people often mix them up. But, there are clear differences between them.

A Pod Dolphins: Differences between whales and dolphins

A Pod Of Dolphins At Sea. They Are Smaller And Faster Than Whales

Whales and dolphins are both sea mammals that belong in the order Cetacea, along with the porpoise.

These three creatures have so many similarities that people often mix them up, especially as regards whales and dolphins.

Take for instance the case of the orca or killer whale, which is genetically a dolphin though it has ‘whale’ attached to its name.

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No sea creature can prey on the orca whale. It’s so fearsome, its scientific name comes from the Roman god of the underworld, Orcus.

The Orca Whale Often Leaps Clear Out of water

The Orca Whale Often Leaps Clear Out Of Water

The orca whale, killer whale or simply orca, is a toothed whale and the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family.

You can easily recognize them by their characteristic black-and-white coloring and their long dorsal fin. Though, all-white orcas do exist, they are extremely rare.

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There’s a reason why Orcas are called Killer Whales. But is this creature a whale or a dolphin?

Orcas (killer whales) swimming

Orcas (Killer Whales) Swimming (Courtesy: NOAA/Wikimedia Commons PD)

Some sea creatures seen to jump right out of mythical tales because of their ferocity and size. One such mammal is the Orca (Orcinus orca), also called ‘Killer Whale.’

The question here is:  Are orcas whales or dolphins? No. They are not whales. Yes they are dolphins. In fact, they are the largest of dolphins and the most powerful predators in the seas today. You can immediately recognize them by their distinctive black-and-white colored bodies.

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