Fun Dolphins Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Feb 16, 2024 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
One of the best dolphin facts is that an adult dolphin has between 74-104 teeth.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.3 Min

Dolphins are one of the cutest and most intelligent animals in the world. These mammals are generally found in oceans, rivers, and other water bodies. Most dolphins are marine animals living in the ocean, but the river dolphin lives in freshwater. Dolphins generally prey on marine animals like fish, squid, and shrimp. The average weight of dolphins is 331.5 - 442 lb (150 - 200 kg) and they have a body ten times their prey's length! Dolphins are very friendly with humans and share a great bond, they love to play on the surface of the water.

Dolphins can have between 74-104 teeth but they never chew their food. They reproduce sexually and are known to give birth to calves (the name for a dolphin baby) once every two to three years. Dolphins are noisy animals and they communicate by whistling. Certain special species are called cetaceans, these are dolphin species that are known to live for 70 years and can weigh up to 170 tons. Research suggests that dolphins are rarely caught during fishing processes, but commercial fishing still poses a slight risk to the species.

If you liked reading about these facts about dolphins, you can also check out some facts on the spinner dolphin and the harbour porpoise here on Kidadl.

Dolphins Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dolphin?

Dolphins are warm-blooded aquatic animals that are found in oceans and other water bodies.

What class of animal do dolphins belong to?

Dolphins belong to the class of mammals.

How many dolphins are there in the world?

Dolphins are endangered, and many species of dolphins are already extinct. There are around 44 species of dolphins left in the world and the population of the common bottlenose dolphins is estimated to be around 600,000.

Where does a dolphin live?

Dolphins live in the ocean and some live in rivers. They are mostly found in temperate and tropical waters around the world.

What is a dolphin's habitat?

Dolphins are marine animals that live in oceans and brackish waters along coastlines. Some of the species are known to live in freshwater bodies like rivers, too. Dolphins depend on other aquatic life like fish, and squid in order to survive.

Who do dolphins live with?

Dolphins generally live in groups of dozens or hundreds of their kind known as pods. They hunt in pods, and this also helps them to keep their predators away. Some species are known to live in superpod with more than 1000 dolphins.

How long do dolphins live?

Depending on the species, the lifespan of dolphins can vary. Most dolphins are expected to live for about 30-50 years, whereas some dolphin species like striped dolphins can live for up to 60 years!

How do they reproduce?

Common bottlenose dolphins reproduce by the process of internal fertilization, and the females give birth to their young. Newborn dolphins can swim from the moment they are born but are dependent for almost two years on their mothers for milk and food. Dolphins may mate at any time of the year and tend to give birth to a baby every two to three years.

What is their conservation status?

The current conservation status of Dolphins is Endangered, with only 44 species left across the world.

Dolphin Fun Facts

What do dolphins look like?

These animals have a long, streamlined body which helps them to travel fast and effectively in the water. They have gray, brown, or blue skin, sometimes with black spots and stripes on their body. The bottlenose dolphin species are known to have a short and thick snout. They have between 74-104 teeth which help them hunt for fish and other marine mammals.

Dolphins love to dive and are very social animals that love to put on a good show for humans when in a natural setting.

How cute are they?

These marine mammals are very cute, and they get along with humans very well. They are known to be very social and are super cute!

How do they communicate?

These intelligent mammals communicate by whistles and each dolphin has a different vocal pitch. These are used for communicating within their pods.

How big are dolphins?

Dolphins can be between 5.7 - 31.2 ft (1.7 - 9.5 m) long and can be 2.1 -2.11 ft (64 - 89 cm). In comparison, a killer whale can grow up to 32 ft (9.5 m) and these whales are more than 10 times bigger than squids.

How fast can dolphins swim?

Dolphins can swim as fast as 18 mph (29 kmph).

How much do dolphins weigh?

For most dolphins, their weight ranges between 331.5 - 442 lb (150 - 200 kg), and some species can even weigh a few tons!

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male dolphins are called bulls and females are called cows.

What would you call baby dolphins?

A baby dolphin is called a calf.

What do they eat?

Dolphins mainly feed on fish, squid, octopi, jellyfish, and shrimps.

Are they hunted by humans?

Hunting dolphins is sometimes legal but commercial whaling is a crime. Fishing of dolphins is illegal in most parts of the world.

Would they make a good pet?

Dolphins are known for their kind behavior and friendly relationship with humans but they can also be aggressive sometimes. If taken care of properly by someone who is properly trained, they can live in captivity but you cannot own one as a pet. In captivity, they play with humans and can be trained easily as they have a great memory. Dolphins, in general, are known to seek human attention.

Did you know...

The largest dolphin ever recorded was 32 ft (9.8 m) long.

Dolphins have a better life expectancy in the wild, where some can live for 60 years.

'The Island Of The Blue Dolphins' is a popular book written on dolphins that was published in 1960.

A dolphin is capable of holding its breath for eight to 10 minutes underwater and dolphins have two stomachs.

These animals are known to help injured members of their pod.

A river dolphin looks both similar and unlike other dolphins, appearing quite pinkish and having a longer snout.

Dolphins sleep in the water! They either sleep alongside another dolphin as they swim along or rest peacefully horizontally in the water.

How do Dolphins sleep?

The intelligent mammal rests motionless on the surface of the water while sleeping and breathes slowly. These animals are seen swimming close to the surface while sleeping and often come out to breathe.

How smart are Dolphins?

A dolphin is a very intelligent animal. It is a known fact that in some instances, a group of dolphins has saved human beings. Dolphins are also capable of retaining information and have impressive memories.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the baiji, or the vaquita.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Dolphin coloring pages.

Dolphins Facts

What Did They Prey On?

A variety of fish, octopi, jellyfish, shrimp, and squid

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

1

How Much Did They Weigh?

331.5 - 442 lb (150 - 200 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

temperate and tropical waters across the world

Where Do They Live?

the indian ocean, pacific ocean, northern japan, california to chile and australia

How Long Were They?

5.7 - 31.2 ft (1.7 - 9.5 m)

How Tall Were They?

2.1 -2.11 ft (64 - 89 cm)

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Common dolphins

Family

Delphinidae

Scientific Name

Delphinus

What Do They Look Like?

Gray, brown, or blue skin with black spots or stripes

Skin Type

Smooth and rubbery

What Are Their Main Threats?

pollution, whaling, oil spills, and climate change

What is their Conservation Status?

Endangered
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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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