Dolphins are widely considered as one of the smartest animals on this planet, and often leave lasting impressions on people with the clever tricks they perform in zoos or dolphinarium. They are friendly and social animals that have rescued humans from shark attacks and drowning. Like how dogs are “man’s best friend”, dolphins are our best friends from the sea.
Dolphins are also known as “re-entrants”, which once lived on land. They behaved and looked similar to a small wolf, but with five hoofs-like toes on each foot instead of claws. Since then, they have evolved into amazing creatures that constantly amazes scientists with their incredible abilities. Here are 7 amazing facts about our buddies from the sea.
1. Dolphins have Amazing Regeneration Abilities
Ever seen Wolverine regenerating his wounds without any scars instantly? Dolphins have a similar superpower-like ability; only difference being not able to do so instantly! Dolphins can survive wounds the size of basketballs, regenerate that huge chunk of flesh in a couple of weeks, without any traces of scars! In fact, even when sharks inflict serious injuries to dolphins, they don’t bleed to death. This is because dolphins are able to cut off blood flow to the injury while it clots, preventing severe blood loss. Not to mention that although dolphins have an immune system similar to us, miraculously they never ever get any infections!How badass is that!
2. Dolphins can numb themselves from Pain
What makes the dolphin so amazing is that on top of the alien-like regenerative powers, they also have the ability to produce natural morphine-strength painkillers that are not addictive! While many of us would probably get disturbed or annoyed by a minor paper cut, dolphins have been observed playing, swimming and eating just after receiving a life threatening wound. Dolphins are just as sensitive as we are; they can feel pain. However, when inflicted with severe injuries, dolphins do not show any sign of discomfort and continue their daily routines as per normal.
3. Dolphins Give Themselves Names
Scientists often measure intelligence by the number of brain “folds”. While most brains of mammals have a relatively smooth surface, dolphin’s brains are more “folded” than humans, which are intricately folded. This might goes to show that dolphins might be smarter than the average human. Scientists have officially recognized that dolphins give themselves names! It has been observed that dolphins develop their own individual whistles, which they still recognize when the tone of the whistle is changed.
Dolphins are Creatures that can survive without Sleep
Sleep is important to most living being, as going without it might lead to undesirable outcomes, for example, death. In fact, the longest documented period of time a human went without sleep was 6 months and that was due to the rare disease, Fatal Familial Insomnia which eventually led to death. While going without sleep is unimaginable, dolphins have apparently found their way around it. Amazingly, dolphins have the ability to shut down half of their brains at a time, leaving the other half active. In this state, the active part of the brain is able to perform every function, from breathing to their sonar abilities, without any loss in reaction time!
Some Dolphins have a Super Sense “Electroreception”
Apart from the sonar ability that dolphins have, dolphins have a super sense that is even more amazing, electroreception! All animals generate weak electric fields from the activity of their muscles and nerves. This allows the dolphin to sense this bioelectric field and use it to spot prey that they can’t see. While sonar is used for detecting objects from long distances, electroreception is used to detect fishes hiding under the mud.
Dolphins are Compassionate Creatures
Famous philosophers such as Pliny and Herodotus once commented on the compassionate, friendly, and moral nature of dolphins. This is seen from the compassionate acts that they often show. For example, when a dolphin gives birth, there will be a “midwife” that will come to assist the dolphin in labor, helping to pull the baby dolphin out. Other dolphins would swim around the mother during birth to protect her. Their compassion is not limited to their own species. Dolphins are known to stay and help injured individuals, to the extent of saving them from drowning. If you do a little googling, you might be surprised by the amount of cases dolphins saving acts! From saving whales to humans, dolphins are animals that love to lend a helping hand to those in need.
There are Military-Trained Dolphins in the Army
Being intelligent and trainable, dolphins are attractive military assets for the U.S Army. As a matter of fact, the Navy Marine Mammal Program that trains dolphins and sea lions at San Diego received $14 million in funding a year. Their speed in water and sonar ability still outrivals man-made machines, making them valuable assets. Dolphins mainly play the active role of detecting underwater mines and incoming enemy swimmers. Interestingly, there is a persistent rumor that claims that combat dolphins are being trained to kill.
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