Saving the Planet
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Endangered Species: Dolphins
Boto Common Atlantic white-sided
Atlantic white-sided
Atlantic spotted Bottlenose Baiji
Atlantic spotted


There are a lot of species of dolphins. Here are the names of some: Amazon river (Boto), Atlantic humpback, Atlantic white-sided, Atlantic spotted, Baiji, Bottlenose, Chinese white, Common, Dusky, Hector's, Indio-pacific humpback, Pantropical spotted, Rough-toothed, Spinner, White-beaked, Pacific white-sided, Hourglass, Frasers, Orca, Risso's, Tucuxi dolphins. They are found in oceans world wide.


Dolphins along with porpoises and whales form a group called cetaceans (se-ta-tions). Dolphins are mammals so they need to breathe. They can hold their breath for up to seven minutes! Their main diet is mostly fish and squid. The biggest dolphin is the orca at 9.8 metres and the smallest dolphin is the tucuxi at 1.6 metres.


Baby dolphins are called calves. Mothers have one calf at a time. The calf is born tail first. After the birth there is a gap from two to five years before the next pregnancy. Once the calf is born other females help the mother. When the calf is only a newborn the others will ward off sharks and male dolphins.The other females who help the mother care for the calf are called "aunts".

Dolphin and baby
Dolphin and baby


Dolphins are rapidly vanishing because they are caught in fishing nets too often. They get caught because they swim in to the net to get the fish. When the net closes the dolphin is unable to get out. It struggles and it can't breathe so it drowns. This isn't as commen but they can also get badly hurt by boat motors.

Dolphin tangled in net Tail fluke damaged by net
Dolphin tangled in net
Tail fluke damaged by net
Baby Hector's dolphin (boat strike)
Baby Hector's dolphin (boat strike)


  1. Buy fish that has been caught without harming dolphins.

  2. Use dolphin-friendly nets.

  3. Adopt a dolphin at WDCS.



Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)

International Dolphin Watch (IDW)

American Cetacean Society

Last updated: March 27, 2005. Check What's New for update notices.