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These dolphins are at the peak of their jumps!
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Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography

Dolphins

Dolphins are known as cetaceans and are in the order Cetacea. The name Cetacea comes from the Latin 'cetus', which means large marine creature or sea monster!

Dolphins are mammals and they do live their entire lives, from birth to death, under water. Because they live their whole lives under water, dolphins have to be great swimmers. They use their body flex and powerful tail flukes for their main propulsion.

Dolphins can also jump out of the water. You might have seen them jump really high and dive to great depths in the ocean or at a zoo or wildlife park.

Dolphins use echo location to "see". Some dolphins may be completely blind, but they can detect prey or other dolphins in their pod, by making noises and using the echo to tell how far away something is. You may have heard these noises as clicking sounds.

Dolphins have strong social ties to other dolphins in their pod. They swim together for feeding and protection purposes. Humans have disrupted dolphin life by catching dolphins for wildlife shows or catching dolphins in fishing nets. This not only disrupts dolphin life, but disrupts the entire ocean food chain.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF