Five interesting facts you may not know about dolphins

These happy, friendly creatures of the sea have always been seen as intelligent and playful. But, here are some facts that you probably didn’t know about the aquatic mammals.

1: The Romans and Greeks were big fans of the aquatic animal, with the latter believing that killing a dolphin was punishable by death as they thought dolphins were sacred. The Romans on the other hand believed that dolphins would provide them with safe passage to the afterlife.

2: While we see sleeping as easy and amazing, for dolphins it’s a completely different story. Whilst asleep they need to stay at the surface of the water in order to prevent their blowhole from being covered by water. As well as this they also turn off one side of its brain, so it can remain alert whilst still being able to breathe.

3: When attempting to provide dinner for themselves, dolphins will use a particular hunting tactic where they will circle schools of fish, forcing them into a tight formation. After this each dolphin will take their turn going straight through the middle of the ball in order to feed on all the fishy goodness.

4: Here is one I bet you never thought you’d hear…The United States and possibly some other navies have been giving military training to dolphins, so they can seek out underwater mines and mark them for defusal. Having the dolphins sniff out these mines is hugely beneficial for the military as it will enable safe passage through specific areas for the oil tankers that previously would have been too risky to achieve. Luckily, these dolphins look just like any other dolphin making it easy for them to get past other armies without being detected.

5: Here is another one that is pretty crazy. The Amazon river dolphins aren’t your typical dolphins that swim around eating fish. Instead, they swim upside down and it is thought that the humps they have on their backs assist them in feeling around the river floor in order to find food. It also helps them see what is going on below them as these types of dolphin have cheeks that are a bit on the puffy side which could block their field of vision.