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Dolphin Days #3

Photo by Debra McGuire


More delightful dolphin facts, courtesy of USA Today.  Did you know:

8. Our genomes are virtually the same.

Veterinarians at Texas A&M University compared the chromosome makeup of humans and dolphins and found that we are surprisingly alike. David Busbee, a veterinarian from Texas A&M, said the genomes of humans and dolphins were virtually the same. The researchers compared fluorescently painted slides of human chromosomes with similarly rendered slides of dolphin chromosomes. Dolphins hold many of the same chromosomes as humans.

9. We form strong social bonds.

As they grow, young dolphins form strong bonds with their pod and practice the skills they need to survive. Like their human counterparts, as part of their socialization, dolphins often participate in playful games, such as chasing each other, and they explore their habitat with their peers.

10. The females nurse their babies.

When female dolphins give birth, the mother cuts the umbilical cord and brings the baby to the water’s surface to breathe. The adult female produces a thick milk and nurses the baby calf for six months to two years, though this may vary by species.

11. We demonstrate skills to our young.

Adult dolphins pass on various skills to their offspring like humans do. In their aquatic environment, young dolphins learn to discern the particular characteristics within their group and acquire survival skills, such as identifying fish, avoiding capture, and being aware of predators like sharks. Researchers have observed bottlenose dolphins showing calves how to hold a sea sponge to shield their snout while foraging for food.


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