Fast Facts for Kids
Dolphin Facts for Kids

Dolphin Facts

  • Common Name: Dolphin
  • Infraorder: Cetacea
  • Families: Delphinidae, Platanistidae, Iniidae and Pontoporiidae.
  • Total Species: ~40 (debated)
  • Diet: Carnivorous
  • Habitat Range: Oceans Worldwide
  • First Appeared: ~11 million years ago

21 Dolphin Facts For Kids

  1. Dolphin is the common name for a group of marine mammals in the Cetacea infraorder.
  2. There are currently 40 living dolphin species across four families under the Cetacea infraorder.
  3. All living dolphin species belong to one of four families, and the Oceanic Dolphins (Delphinidae), New World River Dolphins (Iniidae), Indian River Dolphins (Platanistidae) and Brackish Dolphins (Pontoporiidae).
  4. Dolphins are carnivores, with each dolphin species having a wide variety diet which includes, but isn’t limited to fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and marine mammals.
  5. Dolphin species can be found worldwide, almost every ocean and sea is home to one or more dolphin species. The exceptions are the cold waters around the polar regions, additionally no dolphins have been found living in the Caspian Sea and Aral Sea.
  6. Since dolphins are marine mammals, they breath oxygen just like terrestrial (land) mammals. They use a blowhole to inhale fresh air and exhale stale air from their lungs.
  7. Dolphins don’t just live in saltwater, there are several species that live in freshwater, like the Bolivian river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis boliviensis).
  8. Dolphins are highly intelligent animals and can learn, teach, cooperate, and grieve.
  9. Dolphins live together in social groups known as pods and sometimes pods temporarily merge to create superpods of 1,000+ individuals.
  10. Male dolphins are called bulls, females are called cows and juveniles are called calves.
  11. The average length of an adult dolphin can range between 3 feet 11 inches and 26 feet.
  12. The average weight of an adult dolphin can range between 88 and 12,000 pounds.
  13. The smallest living dolphin species is the Hector’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) with an average adult length between 3 feet 11 inches and 5 feet 3 inches. The average adult weight of the Hector’s dolphin is between 88 and 132 pounds.
  14. The largest living dolphin species is the orca (Orcinus orca) with an average adult length between 16 and 26 feet. The average adult weight of the orca is between 3,000 and 12,000 pounds. The wide ranges for length and width are due to the size differences of male and female orcas.
  15. The largest dolphin species population on the planet is the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) with around 6 million individuals.
  16. The average lifespan of a dolphin varies by species and where it lives. The lifespan of all dolphin species ranges between 10 and 40 years.
  17. The average adult dolphin across all species can hold their breath between 8 to 10 minutes underwater.
  18. The deepest diving dolphins are the bottlenose dolphins with average diving depth of 900 feet.
  19. The rarest and most endangered dolphin species in the world is the Maui dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui). In 2021, a report created by the government of New Zeland estimated there may be only between 50 to 54 individuals in the world.
  20. The most famous dolphin was Flipper, a bottlenose dolphin that starred on the TV series Flipper (1946-1967).
  21. In 2013, the documentary film Blackfish was released and brought to light the dangers of keeping orcas in captivity. It features the male orca Tilikum, who killed three people while in captivity at SeaWorld between 1983 and 2017.

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Dolphin Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the below images will be helpful for your research on dolphins. Below are six pictures of various dolphins. These pictures should help you better understand these awesome marine mammals.

A Dolphin Swimming Over a Reef

A picture of a dolphin swimming over a reef.

A Dolphin Hunting Fish Underwater

A picture of a dolphin hunting fish underwater.

A Dolphin Jumping Out of the Water

A picture of a dolphin jumping out of the water.

A Pod of Dolphins Underwater

A picture of a pod of dolphins underwater.

An Aerial View of a Pod of Dolphins

A picture of a pod of dolphins from the air.

A Mother and Baby Dolphin

A picture of a mother and baby dolphin.

Additional Dolphin Resources

We hope you found the above dolphin facts, information, data, and pictures both fun and educational. You can continue to research dolphins using one of the below additional resources. They were chosen for their credibility and accuracy; you can trust their information when it comes to dolphins. Thank you for choosing Fast Facts for Kids.