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Mammal. Common dolphins are very social, traveling in groups called pods of up to 1,000 animals. Playful and boisterous, they do flips and somersaults, leaping completely out of the water, sometimes as a group. They love to ride on the waves created by their fellow swimmers, ships, or very large whales. They sleep with one eye always open, closing one for 5 to 10 minutes, then the other. Dolphins are intelligent animals and use vocalization to communicate with each other. They are affectionate and form lasting friendships with one another. Dolphins will use their fins to help keep an ailing dolphin afloat so she can breathe.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Delphinus delphis 20+ years
Carnivore. Fish, especially anchovies, herring and pilchards; squid, and octopus.
Predators and Threats
Sharks, orcas, and humans.
Widely distributed in tropical and temperate waters.