Zoology & Botany

dolphin

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy dolphin in advance, as well as a sample of slippery skin.

Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of a dolphin.) This is a mammal.

Remember, to be classified as a mammal, an animal should have hair or fur, mammary glands (mammal mothers nurse their young with milk), lungs and need air to breathe. Mammals are warm blooded animals. (Point to the dolphin) Say: Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals. They belong to a group of mammals called Cetaceans. Cetaceans include all whales and dolphins. Dolphins are fishlike in form, with streamlined, hairless bodies. Their powerful, horizontal flukes, or tail fins, drive them through or out of the water, while their fore fins and dorsal fin are used for steering. Constantly shedding their skins, dolphins accumulate no barnacles or other external parasites. A layer of blubber protects them from cold and seals small wounds. Dolphins breathe air through a single, dorsal blowhole. It is true that they are mammals, but dolphins only have hair when they are first born. This hair is found on the top of

the dolphin’s mouth, and falls out within two weeks. Dolphins do not grow any other hair for the rest of their lives.

Go back to the picture of the dolphin. Say: let’s find dolphin’s body parts. This is its head, eyes, (blowhole), mouth, body, fore fins, dorsal fin and tail. Dolphins have very good vision, and they are able to see what is around them both in the water and when they are above the surface of it. They have excellent hearing too, with the ability to hear about 10 times better than humans. Dolphins use a technique called echolocation to find food and navigate and they communicate through sounds and whistles (Let´s whistle like dolphins).

Dolphins are living things and need energy to survive. They are carnivorous mammals since they feed on fish, shrimp and squid. These clever animals are also sometimes spotted following fishing boats in hopes of dining on leftovers. As in cattle, female dolphins are usually called cows and male dolphins are called bulls. A dolphin baby is called a calf. Most dolphin species do not begin to breed until they become five to eight years old. The female bears a single offspring, after a gestation period of 8 to 11 months, depending on the species. As soon as the calf is born, the mother nudges it to the surface for its first breath of air. The young stays with the mother for at least one and sometimes two years, while continuing to nurse.

Dolphins live in all oceans of the planet and even in some important rivers. The dolphin's intelligence, playfulness, and friendliness, its built-in smile and merry-looking eyes have been a source of interest and enchantment to human beings from earliest times. We need to take care of Dolphins and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

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