Four ways dolphins are amazing – and one way they’re not | Innovation Tech

We certainly click with dolphins, but they are also otherworldly creatures with a suite of senses divergent from our own. Here’s our top 5 facts about them

Two dolphins leaping out of the water, silhouetted with an orange sunset behind

Agility is just one of the talents that dolphins possess

Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

They may be aquatic, but it can feel like we have a lot in common with dolphins. They are intelligent, friendly, and have been known to get together to rescue other dolphins and even humans. Many people put swimming with dolphins on their list of things to do before they die, others will pay top dollar for a session of so-called dolphin therapy. And thanks to their smarts, agility and sonar, dolphins even make excellent soldiers – in fact, much of what we now know about the animals began with the US military’s dolphin training programme in the 1960s.

As our list of top dolphin skills shows, they are astounding communicators, have decades-long memories and an entire suite of senses divergent from our own, although they can be overly ambitious when deciding what to have for lunch…

1. Sounds twistin’ my melon, man

Dolphins, and their cousins, the porpoises, use high-frequency sonar clicks to echolocate and home in on their prey. They can produce, focus and direct the sounds without even moving their heads. How they achieve such a degree of control stumped scientists for a long time. The key turned out to be a large, fatty organ in their foreheads called a melon. By changing the shape and density of the melon with their facial muscles, and working in conjunction with air sacs in the head and the skull bones themselves, dolphins and porpoises can direct, focus …

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