Dolphins - Delphinidae Delphis
Dolphins are marine mammals closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost 40 species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from 4 feet and 90 lbs (Maui's dolphin), up to almost 30 feet and 9 tons (the Orca or Killer Whale). They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, eating mostly fish and squid. |
The family Delphinidae is the largest in the Cetacean order, and evolved relatively recently, about ten million years ago, during the Miocene. Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals, and their often friendly appearance and seemingly playful attitude have made them popular in human culture.
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