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    Dolphin or Not a Dolphin?

     

    Dolphin or not a dolphin? That is the question! You see, there are several types of dolphins. Some are saltwater dolphins while others are river dolphins.

    Amongst the 32 types of dolphins, some do not actually wear the word "dolphin" in their name such as: the tucuxi while others actually have the word "whale" as part of their name even if they are not whales but in fact, belong to the dolphins family. Such dolphins species are: the Northern Right whale, the Southern Right whale, the Melon-Headed whale, the Pygmy killer whale, the Long-Finned Pilot whale, the Short-Finned Pilot whale, the False killer whale and finally, the Killer whale. So what would be the answer to the question: "Dolphin or not a dolphin?" in these cases? It would be yes, all these species do belong to the dolphins family.

    Another question that people ask is: "Are the marine mammals that perform in acrobatic shows at aquariums such as Marineland and Sea World all dolphins?" So, it always seems to come back to the question: "Dolphin or not a dolphin?" Well the answer is no in this case. The marine mammals that perform there are not all dolphins. Some are dolphins like the Bottlenose dolphin and the Killer whale which is often referred to as an orca whale since the word "orca" is part of this dolphin specie scientific name "Orchinus orca". The beluga which people tend to think belong to the dolphins family because they display what seems like a smile, like most dolphins, but they are in fact a specie of the whale's family.

    Another question that people tend to ask is: "Aren't dolphins and porpoises in the same marine mammal family?" or in other words: "Dolphin or not a dolphin?" Although they both have similarities, they are also different in several ways. You see, the differences are mainly regarding size and shape. The porpoise is smaller than a dolphin, stocky with small or no dorsal fins have a rounded snout and their teeth are shaped like spades or chisels. The dolphin is bigger, has a sleek figure, large dorsal fins, a pointy beaked nose and cone-shaped teeth. As you can see, the porpoise is not a dolphin.

    Now that you read these facts about dolphins, you probably realize that while certain marine mammals may appear to be part of the dolphins species and that others seem to be part of the whale's family but in either cases, it is not obvious and can be surprising when you identify a marine mammal as being a dolphin or not a dolphin. That is the question!

     

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