The mammalian dolphins are small, streamlined whales, usually with a well-defined, beak like snout. They are often called porpoises, but that name is usually reserved for similar, but beak less, whales of the family Phocoenidae (see porpoise).
Dolphins are popularly noted for grace, intelligence, playfulness, and friendliness to man. The most widely recognized species are the common and bottle-nosed dolphins (Delphinus delphi’s and Tursiops truncates; see photograph); both are of the family Delphinidae and are widely distributed in warm and temperate seas. These are probably the species of dolphins mentioned in the works of Aristotle, Aesop, Herodotus, the Pliny’s, and other early writers, often as a child’s mount or the rescuer of someone lost in the sea. The family Delphinidae contains 14 genera and about 32 species of dolphins distributed throughout the world oceans.
Most are gray, blackish, or brown above and paler below, and most are about 1 to 4 metres (3 to 13 feet) long. Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseous), found in tropical and temperate seas throughout the world, is grayish in colour and lacks a beak. Teeth are usually lacking in the upper jaw. The pilot and killer whales, also members of this family, are much larger and, because of their size, are not usually thought of as dolphins. The majority of the delphi nids feed primarily on fish, and most of them are gregarious, appearing in groups of a few to several hundred. A number of species are attracted by moving ships, often accompanying them or leaping alongside and sometimes riding the wave created by the moving bow.
... whales are dolphins. Dolphins are large sea animals making it part of the cetaceans, where whales and porpoises belong (Stoops, 1996). Dolphins belong to family ... (Wang,1995). However, the largest dolphin species, the killer whale (Orcinus orca), uses group-specific dialects ... While dolphins are under family Plantanistidae and Delphinidae, instead of a rounded snout, dolphins have beak like snout ...
The bottle-nosed dolphin, characterized by a “built-in smile” formed by the curvature of its mouth, has become a familiar performer in oceanaria. It has also become the subject of scientific studie because of its apparent intelligence and its ability to communicate with its kind through a range of sounds and ultrasonic pulses. It adapts to captivity better than the common dolphin, which is timid. The Platanistidae, or river dolphins, comprise four genera and species of small, mainly freshwater dolphins found in South America and Asia. They have long, slender beaks, reduced eyes, and poor vision. The Stenidae, or long-snouted dolphins, comprise three genera and eight species of little-known dolphins, also with long, slender beaks.
They are found in tropical rivers and oceans and are sometimes included in the family Delphinidae. The fish commonly known as a dolphin (Coryphaena hippuras), also called mahi mahi and dorado, is a popular food and sport fish. Famed for the rapid changes undergone by its bright blue and gold coloration as it dies, this dolphin inhabits tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. It has a large, blunt head, a tapered body, and a slender, forked tail. The male, considerably larger than the female, may attain a length and weight of about 1. 5 m and 30 kilograms (70 pounds).
A swift carnivorous fish, this dolphin lives alone or in schools and feeds on invertebrates and other fishes. It and the similar, though smaller, pompano dolphin (C. equiselis) are the only living members of the family Coryphaenidae.