18 Crazy (But True) Facts About Dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin are amazing creatures and Panama City Beach has plenty of them living in the wild. Most people living or visiting our city will agree that seeing them in their natural habitat is something you’ll be talking about for years to come. But they’re not just smiling faces and silly antics. Bottlenose dolphin are pretty interesting in their own right. Check out this impressive list of facts:
1. Only Half Asleep
Bottlenose dolphin not only need to be aware of dangers in the water, they need to rise to the surface to breathe. Because of this, only one half of their brain rests while the other remains awake and alert. You can tell which is side is resting by checking their eyes. When the pinkleft brain sleeps, the right eye is closed and when the right brain sleeps, the left eye is closed.
2. Pretty in Pink
Yep, there really are pink dolphins. Well, not in Panama City Beach, but in the rivers of Brazil. Also known as “Botos”, these dolphin are technically albinos, as evidenced by their red eyes.
3. Always Ready for Recess
Bottlenose dolphin love to play, not only with each other, but also with other marine animals like sea turtles. They’ve been filmed blowing bubbles underwater and playing with them or find a mass of seaweed and tossing it around just for fun.
4. Giving Away Their Age
The teeth of bottlenose dolphin grow a new layer each year. This means, that like the rings of a tree trunk, you can tell approximately how old they are by the number of layers on the teeth.
5. Synchronized Swimmers
These agile mammals enjoy swimming in large family groups called “pods”. It is not uncommon to see multiple dolphin leaping in the air or body surfing in a boat’s wake or a large wave and they do all of this without bumping into one another.
6. Say My Name
Research shows that bottlenose dolphin use a series of whistles and clicks to communicate with other members of their pod. They have been recorded mimicking the whistle of the dolphin they want, showing that they have likely named each other.
7. Midwives Help During Births
Baby dolphin are born alive, tail first. The mother is surrounded by other females to protect her and her baby during the birth process and closeonce the calf is delivered, a midwife pushes the baby dolphin to the surface for its first breath.
8. These Teeth Aren’t Made for Chewing
Though bottlenose dolphin have a mouth full of cone-shaped teeth (somewhere between 80 and 100), they don’t use them to chew. Dolphin live on a diet of fish and they swallow them whole, head first so the scales and spine slide more easily down their throats.
9. Terrible Table Manners
Bottlenose dolphin aren’t always the most polite eaters. They are often seen playing with a fish before eating it. They are often seen throwing fish in the air and hitting them with their tail to stun them, a fishing technique known as “tail whacking”.
10. Great Taste Testers
Well, not exactly, but they can tell the difference between sweet, sour, bitter and salty treats.
11. Impressing the Ladies
Male dolphin have been seen gathering sticks and weeds to present to female dolphin. It seems the males with the best arrangements were the ones who ended up becoming fathers.
12. Teenagers Gone Wild
Bottlenose dolphin between the ages of 3 and 6 years leave their mothers and join with other adolescent dolphins. With a minimum amount of life skills, these groups of dolphins often get themselves into dangerous situations with predators or environmental hazards and some don’t survive.
13. No Glasses Needed
Unlike most animals that live underwater, it turns out bottlenose dolphin eyes have the ability to see well underwater as well above it. They are often seen “head bobbing”, checking out the humans who are peering down on them.
14. Navy Seals … um and Dolphins
The Navy has been training bottlenose dolphin for ocean operations for decades. They have trained dolphin to do surveillance with cameras on their flippers, mark enemy divers with buoys and even mark underwater landmines.
15. Shark Killers
Their smiles may say their cute and cuddly, but don’t let these mammals fool you. Pods of bottlenose dolphin have been seen ramming a shark with their long nose. There have been numerous human divers saved by a bottlenose dolphin ramming the predator before they could attack.
16. Amazing Divers
With the ability to hold their breath for about 10 minutes, these mammals can dive as deep as 1700 feet. Not that they do it very often … but they could if they wanted to show off.
17. When Your Snout Just Isn’t Enough
Bottlenose dolphin, especially females off he coast of Australia have been seen using sponges to protect their sensitive snout as they push dolphinsponge1it through the soft sand scaring up dinner. There are few animals in the wild who use tools for various reasons.
18. “Feeling” the World Around Them
Dolphins have a unique sonar system that allows them to emit high frequency sound waves that bounce of obstacles, other dolphin, and food. The time it takes for the “echo” to return and the intensity of the sound gives them information about objects in the water.
No matter how you look at it, bottlenose dolphin are amazing creatures and the waters off the coast of Shell Island in Panama City Beach is home to one of the highest concentrations of bottlenose dolphin in the world. AQUATIC ADVENTURES is your one stop for seeing these entertaining and playful mammals in their natural habitat. Whether you’re looking for a snorkeling or jetski dolphin tour, a romantic sunset dolphin tour or want to venture to Shell Island on your own with our pontoon or sailboat rentals, we can get you out and enjoying the Florida sunshine and laughing at the silly antics of these magnificent creatures. Give us a call, stop by our location at Lighthouse Marina or use our convenient online calendar to book your Panama City Beach dolphin experience today.