Fun Dolphin Facts
Dolphins are amazing... These graceful animals find a way to our and our children's hearts quickly. I can't remember a time when I didn't like dolphins - I watched pretty much every documentary that was on the TV, every caroon and TV series.
Recently we had a workshop with kids that was all about dolphins where kids were able to learn all kinds of things about this aquatic mammal as well as ask questions about it.
I decided to put together this page, dolphin facts for kids which includes all the basic information your kids need to know as well all the clever questions and answers that the kids were most interested at. Even the simplest question can catch even the biggest expert of guard, especially when kids are asking them.
Images used on this page are in public domain, CC or my own material unless stated otherwise
Dolphin Facts For Kids
Dolphin I.D. card
Latin Name: Delphinus
Habitat: Seas, oceans and rivers
Date of Birth: first dolphins ancestors appeared 50 million years ago
Closest Relatives: Whales and porpoises
Favourite food: fish, shrimp, octopus and squid
More Dolphin Facts for Kids
Did you know a killer whale is actually a dolphin?
- dolphins are mammals
- they don't breathe underwater
- there are more than 40 species of dolphins
- they live both in salt and river water
- orca or a killer whale is a dolphin
- the most well known dolphin species is the bottlenose dolphin
- they eat fist
- they are super smart
- a group of dolphins is called a pod
- there are species of dolphins that are pink
Printable Dolphin Activity Worksheets - These will help you out
- Children's Activities - Whale World, Albany WA
These activity sheets are suitable for primary aged children - activities include colouring in, whale identification, true/false questions.
- Dolphin Theme Preschool Activities and Crafts
Dolphin theme preschool printable activities, lesson plans, crafts and coloring pages suitable for toddlers, preschool and kindergarten.
Teaching Dolphin Anatomy - Kids are visual
I remember back when I was in school how dull it was to learn about anatomy of the animals as we were only using textbooks. Whenever a teacher brought a 3D model (and we only had one for human body) things were a lot easier to learn and understand.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 . Image source: Wikipedia
Is Dolphin a Fish or a Mammal?
Kids get the kicks out of this. Dolphin swims the vast seas and rivers as the fish do but he's a mammal.
Now as simply saying that dolphins are mammals probably won't be enough as the kids will want to know how come it is a mammal especially since they are used for mammals to be land animals.
The simplest answer to this question is because dolphins are warm-blooded as mammals while fish are cold blooded. They might keep on asking though as what does warm blooded and cold blooded mean so you better read up on warm and cold blooded animals
Dolphin Books For Kids
Can dolphins kill sharks?
And do they eat sharks
If kids have watched a movie about a dolphin they probably have seen how a shark tries to attack someone and the dolphin comes to the rescue. The question if they eat sharks can be a bit of a surprise thoug.
Dolphins can kill sharks but in generally they do not. Dolphins won't go after a shark for no reason and most dolphin attack happen when a member of their pod is at danger of being attacked by a shark. They will protect the member of their group and will send the shark running. You can read more about this at Animalquestions.org.
As for dolphins eating sharks, well this was without a doubt a question that I couldn't answer with confidence as you know a shark is a fish, and dolphins do eat fish... Now to answer it, killer whales and fake killer whales are the only ones known to hunt and eat sharks from time to time (only in groups)... Learn more...
Where do dolphins sleep?
This is the sort of question that can catch you of guard and something adults don't usually think of asking - but kids do.
If you think about it, it actually is a great question. Dolphins have to get to the surface to breathe so sleeping as we know it is not an option.
But they do get their 8 hours of sleep daily. It's just a bit odd. In that time they are half awake and half asleep. Literally. Half of their brains shut off and go to sleep and the other half is active and after a certain period of time the half that was asleep goes to active mode while the other shuts down.
When they are getting their nap they;
-have only one eye open (I imagine the one with the active brain half)
-are more calm - they are either close to surface or rest on the bottom
-they are moving more slowly
Kids will have a hard time believing you but it's just the way it is.
More about dolphins sleep
As I imagine dolphins sleep patterns have impressed you here are some articles that will give you a more in-depth information about this subject.
- "Do whales and dolphins sleep?"
Whale sleep patterns are different from land mammals in that they are never really unconscious when they sleep. Learn about whale sleep patterns.
- How do whales and dolphins sleep without drowning?
How do whales and dolphins sleep without drowning?
How do dolphins communicate?
Every creature likes to talk
Dolphins communicate with sounds similar to whistles. As we humans each have our distinctive voice the dolphins have their distinctive whistle. They also use a variety of other sounds that can be described as clicks, grunts...
You can give a listen to some of their sounds at Dolphinencounters.com. You will also find a lot of information Kids will love listening to them.
What do they talk about?
They coordinate attacks, play... Maybe even talk about weather.
Do dolphins have hair?
This one was a surprise
But as kids are used that all mammals they usually see have hair this question is spot on!
You might think the answer is as simple as no, but that's not the case. Almost all adult dolphins don't have hair however when they are born they do have some hair around their beak which they loose shortly after.
There is one species that has constant hair around their beak and it's the Boto River Dolphin
How many teeth do dolphins have?
This can't be answered with a single number. There are over 40 species and each (well most) have their unique teeth count. And even with the same species dolphins have a different number of teeth.
Spinner dolphins are considered to be the species with the most teeth - they can even more than 250 teeth - pretty impressive, while some species have just a few dozen of teeth.
A fun puzzle I designed (and you are free to use it). The answer is Bottlenose dolphin. The solution comes from the words bottle and nose and from removing the first two letters from Rudolph and removing the last from inn.
Free Dolphin Coloring Pages - These coloring pages are images are taken from the public domain so you are free tu use them however you like
Why are dolphins endangered
- Why Are Dolphins Endangered Animals
The dolphin species in danger of extinction are the Indus river dolphin, which is a blind dolphin very small which live in the main river of Pakistan, the Indus
- Why are Dolphins endangered? | Why
Why are dolphins endangered? Dolphin species are going to become extinct because the ocean is being polluted. Due to lot of human waste dumped into the ocean, the toxic materials of the human waste create a hazardous environment to the marine life. S
SavioC on October 19, 2013:
Dolphins and Dogs are my most fav of all animals. Somehow they both have a great affinity towards humans. Swimming with the Dolphins in number 3 on my bucket list. Just love them.
Great info. Kids love them too. Thanks for sharing this.
anonymous on June 14, 2013:
My kids like dolphins, but my wife likes them even more. We swam with them in Cozumel and it was her favorite part of our cruise. Thanks for all of the interesting facts!
Kenhjones on June 01, 2013:
I thought I knew about dolphins. It appears I have much more to discover. I often wondered about the sleeping thing. Thanks for a useful website.
makorip lm on April 22, 2013:
Dolphins are amazing intelligent creatures. Good lens!
anonymous on March 12, 2013:
Two Crafty Paws (author) on March 10, 2013:
@jimporsche86: Thanks! I can't wait to add more content.
jimporsche86 on March 02, 2013:
Neat lens, I like it. :)