Dolphin Facts for Kids

Two Dolphins
  • Name: Dolphin (Oceanic Dolphin)
  • Order: Artiodactyla
  • Infraorder: Cetacea
  • Superfamily: Delphinoidea
  • Family: Delphinidae
  • Subfamilies: 5
  • Total Species: 37+

15 Dolphin Facts for Kids

  1. A dolphin is an aquatic mammal that is a member of the Cetacea infraorder.
  2. The phrase dolphin is Greek, which is interpreted as fish with a womb.
  3. Dolphin is a common name used for species in the Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins), Iniidae (New World river dolphins), Platanistidae (Indian river dolphins) and Pontoporiidae (the brackish dolphins) families.
  4. Dolphins are mammals, even though they spend their entire life in the water.
  5. Dolphins are mammals because they breath oxygen, give live birth, feed their babies milk and are warm blooded.
  6. Dolphins are carnivores and feed on fish and squid. Larger species, like the orca (Orcinus orca), feed on large marine mammals.
  7. The average length of a dolphin varies by species. They can be as short as 5.6 feet or as long as 31 feet.
  8. The average weight of a dolphin varies by species. They can be as light as 110 pounds or as heavy as 11 tons.
  9. The smallest species of dolphin is the Maui dolphin or popoto (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui).
  10. The largest species of dolphin is the orca (Orcinus orca), also known as a killer whale.
  11. A male dolphin is called a bull, a female dolphin is called a cow and a young dolphin is called a calf.
  12. Dolphins do live in groups, and these groups are called pods or schools.
  13. Dolphins are intelligent, and excluding humans, they might be the smartest mammals on the planet.
  14. Dolphins can communicate with each other by making clicking, whistling and other sounds.
  15. Dolphins don’t have to drink water. They get all of their hydration from the fish they eat.

Additional Resources with Dolphin Facts

  • Dolphins – Learn more about dolphins on the Defenders of Wildlife website.
  • Dolphin Facts – Read some amazing dolphin facts on the National Geographic website.
  • Dolphins and Porpoises – Explore and learn about different dolphin species on the NOAA Fisheries website.