Swimming with Dolphins

Swimming with Dolphins

Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins are warm blooded, air-breathing mammals that inhabit temperate and tropical waters throughout the world.  They belong to the group of toothed whales whose scientific name is odontocetes. Pacific bottlenose dolphins can grow to be up to 10 feet long and weigh from 300-650 pounds.  They have a sleek, streamlined body with forelimbs, called pectoral flippers, that they use to steer, and flukes (lobes of the tail) that they use to propel themselves forward.  In general, the color of Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins is a nondescript gray on the back fading to white on the belly and lower jaw.  This coloration, a type of camouflage known as counter shading, helps conceal a dolphin from predators and prey.

Thought to be one of the most intelligent and beautiful creatures in our oceans and rivers, dolphins also take on a persona that is adored worldwide. We see them jumping, playing, and even hear them laughing as they have fun in the ocean. These warm-blooded mammals belong to a group of mammals called Cetaceans which also encompass all whales. Dolphins are referred to as "toothed whales" or Odontocetes differentiated from Baleen whales which have horny plates connected to their upper jaw.

Dolphins come in many colors from the black and white Killer whale (which is actually in the dolphin family) to the False Killer whales and Pilot whales which are almost solid black. There are 67 total species of dolphins; 32 of them oceanic with River dolphins, Sperm whales, Beaked whales, Beluga, Narwhal and Porpoises rounding out the other 35 species. Porpoises are often confused with dolphins, but while dolphins have rounded interlocking teeth, porpoise teeth are squared. Pacific Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus) are the variety most commonly observed in and around the Pacific area.

Visit the Dolphin Center in Cabo San Lucas for a Dolphin Tour

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