If you’re anything like me, you may have fallen in love with dolphins growing up. From watching the TV show Flipper as a child (reruns…I’m not that old!), to seeing them perform clever tricks at the Sea World theme park and other aquariums – which now makes me shudder, dolphins seemed like the most fun-loving, friendly, playful creatures in the sea. I liked to daydream about donning my mermaid fins and hanging out with them, barrel rolling through waves together in the deep blue. Dolphins are also highly intelligent, emotional, and social aquatic mammals. In my opinion, they don’t belong in captivity for entertainment value, and they most certainly don’t deserve to be hunted and killed.
Here are some interesting facts that you might not realize about dolphins:
1. The dolphin is the only mammal that gives birth with the tail first instead of the head.
2. The bonds of dolphins in a pod are very intense. They have been observed caring for the sick, the elderly, and those that have been injured with great care.
3. They have a fast healing process for their bodies even when they have deep wounds such as those that are the result of shark bites. Experts haven’t been able to determine how this is possible for dolphins when other mammals would hemorrhage.
4. Only one side of the dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time. This allows them to be able to breathe and to be able to watch for threats even while they are resting.
5. Dolphins enjoy socializing and playing. They play with seaweed or with other members of the pod. Sometimes, they will tease other living creatures in the water.
CALL TO ACTION: If you also have a dolphin crush like me (spirit animal anyone?!) and you’re wondering what you can do to help protect these magnificent creatures, consider adopting one and support conservation efforts, or join the efforts of Sea Shepherd to stop the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. If you haven’t seen the documentary The Cove (I didn’t want to watch it either, but I felt I needed to educate myself), it’s pretty heart-wrenching. Donate to organizations that rally against this horrific act. You could even help raise awareness by wearing a cute Pura Vida bracelet. A portion of the proceeds of each bracelet is donated to the Oceanic Preservation Society.
“I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
– Mother Theresa
Do you have any other great ideas about how we can all do our part to help these amazing sea creatures not only survive but thrive in our oceans? I’d love to hear your feedback!