Monday, March 16, 2009


It's In the Teeth: The toothed whale group, of which the dolphin is a member, also includes river dolphins, porpoises, white whales, sperm whales, orcas and beaked whales. Unlike baleen whales, which scoop large quantities of water into their mouths and filter out mass quantities of food, dolphins capture their prey individually. Their conically shaped teeth are perfect for catching fish, squid or other whales.
Clicks and Echos: All toothed whales use echolocation to find and kill their prey as well as to avoid obstacles. High frequency clicks are emitted from the blowhole. A fluid-filled sac on the top of its head and just forward of the blowhole changes shape as the dolphin focuses the clicks. Bouncing off objects the clicking sound returns and passes through the dolphin's jaw. The time it takes for the sound to make its way back to the dolphin reveals the size and location of the object.

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