Dolphin Facts for Kids

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Dolphin

Join Albert as he explores amazing dolphin facts for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Click on the images to hear silly sounds and then read about fun dolphin facts like what do dolphins look like?, what sound do dolphins make?, how big are dolphins?, what do dolphins eat?, where do dolphins live?, and more fun facts about dolphins!

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What do dolphins look like?

Dolphin looking at camera

Dolphins are mammals just like us. That means that they are warm-blooded, breathe air and feed their babies milk. They also have hair on their bodies at some point in their life, but often shed this after birth.

Dolphins have long snouts with teeth, they have a dorsal (or back) fin, front flippers and a tail. They have a blow hole on top of their head which they breathe through. 

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What sound do dolphins make?

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Microphone

Click the the image to hear the sound! Sound by quicksounds.com.

Dolphins are great at talking to each other. They make lots of different sounds. These include clicks, squeaks, chirps and whistles. Some sound like a creaking door and some like grunts. 

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How big are dolphins?

Cartoon Dolphin | Alphabetimals.com
Large sofa

Dolphins range in size. An average dolphin is around 8 feet (3 meters) long. That’s about as long as a big sofa.

Smaller dolphins are less than the length of a door (6 feet, 1.7 meters). But the largest is the killer whale which is over 30 feet (9.5 meters) long. That’s as long as a telephone pole! 

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What do dolphins eat?

Blue fish
Cartoon squid
Cartoon seal
Red bird

Dolphins are carnivores which means that they only eat meat. Their favourite food is fish and squid. Killer whales also eat seals and sea birds.

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Where do dolphins live?

Ocean background
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Dolphins live in the water. Most live in the sea near the coast. Some live further out to sea and even some in freshwater rivers like the Amazon. 

More fun facts about dolphins for kids

  • Dolphins seem to have a ‘signature’ whistle. This is used by dolphins in the group, or pod, just like we use a name. It identifies them from the other dolphins. 
  • Dolphins use something called “echo location” to hunt. They make a click sound and listen for the echo. When the click bounces off an object, like a tasty fish, the dolphin can find the fish by hearing where the echo came from. 
  • The dorsal (back) fin on killer whales can be as long as 6 feet (2 meters)! That’s like having a door on your back! 
  • Dolphins usually cruise along at about 2 mph (3 kph). If they are in a hurry, however, they can torpedo through the water at 30 mph (50 kph)!
  • Dolphins have incredible hunting techniques. They can blow bubbles which herd fish into a tight group. This makes catching the fish easier. They also whack fish with their tails to stun them just long enough to swim over and gulp them down!
  • Dolphins are very clever. They can recognize themselves in mirrors which not many animals can do. They have been shown to “use tools” too. For example, dolphins sometimes put sea sponges over their noses to protect them from sharp rocks when looking for fish. 
  • Dolphins sleep half their brain at a time. While one side of their brain dreams away, the other side stays awake so they can surface in order to breathe.
  • Most dolphins can hold their breath for 8-10 minutes. But some can hold their breath for 15 minutes!

Sources: Wikipedia, Live Science, Creative Commons, Britannica.com and Freesound.org

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Alphabetical list of animals that start with D

A full alphabetical list of popular animals that start with the letter D for toddlers and preschool kids.

  1. Deer
  2. Dingo
  3. Dodo
  4. Dog
  5. Dolphin
  6. Donkey
  7. Dove
  8. Dragonfly
  9. Duck
  10. Dugong

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