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Taxobox removal[edit]

I removed the taxobox. The article seems to be about a common name that refers to most (or all) species of two cetacean families. cygnis insignis 17:34, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

This was reverted here, with the edit summary Revert - information in infobox takes this into account, provides useful information. Dolphin is a common name for some species of the two families, not a single scientific taxon. The article explains this fact, I would not remove "useful information". The specious inclusion is very misleading, it is best explained in the article. What reliable source would state it refers to these two taxa, when some of them have the common name of whale? Why should the taxobox be used for an article about a non systematic name? cygnis insignis 00:01, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't have a problem with having two families in the taxobox, except that under current taxonomy this one is now incorrect. I am not concerned about the fact that some dolphins have a common name of "whale", since most authoritative sources would recognize those species dolphin species despite the common name, since all are in Delphinidae. But the problem is that the River Dolphins have now been split into multiple families, so just using "Delphinidae and Platanistoidea" is no longer correct. And rather than include five families in the taxobox, which becomes somewhat spurious, it seems better to remove the taxobox and discuss the taxonomy in the article. Rlendog (talk) 01:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
What if the family section is just left out? Or be given a note like "See article"? I like the infobox and it does provide useful data and a basic glance at where dolphins fit in in the animal kingdom (it never fails to amaze me how many people do not seem to realise dolphins are mammals!). Looking at some other articles, there's no consensus on the infobox usage. The whale article has no infobox for example, while many others such as the shark, lizard or turtle articles do have them. BabyNuke (talk) 02:38, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I have a problem with original research being used in our document. This would include basing a taxon on a common name, there is no concordance between common names and biological nomenclature. A reader comes here to acquire facts, those few who do not know they are mammals can gain that information from the content proper of the article. The two families, or even five, are not given an accepted taxon; the fact that some reliable sources (also!) name some of the species as Dolphins is incidental, not authoritative. Everyone likes the taxobox, let us be careful with our names here most of all, it is not an infobox. I appreciate that the undue weight given to other names appended to the correct name may cause this misapprehension, but the consensus is that a taxobox should summarise a single taxon and be included in only one article. Whale is without one for reasons that are intimately linked with this article's title. The other examples you have given are [hopefully] given in RS that state, unequivocally, a common name refers to a taxon: "Sharks (superorder Selachimorpha)"; "Lizards (Suborder: Lacertilia) are a very large and widespread group of reptiles of the order Squamata" [highly debatable, but still a single taxon]; and superorder Chelonia (turtles) is yet another reptilian (Sauropsida) example that needed resolving. Removing duplicated or specious (spurious) taxoboxes is never popular with those who had a notion to include them, I'm not sure why, but it is certain to be the right path for clarifying explanations to our dear readers. An article on the common name 'dolphin' is justified, it could be more than a dab, but it is not a taxon. Please undo the unfounded revert of my edit. cygnis insignis 16:27, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
All dolphins belong to the suborder of Odontoceti, every animal mentioned in this article does, so the taxobox "tree" is correct (especially considering my last edit) - so no incorrect data is given in the box. I don't feel the definition of a dolphin as used in this article is based on original research, but is what is quite commonly accepted as what animals are covered under the word dolphin. Encarta for example (in my opinion a good source for reference) also lists the Delphinidae family and the various river dolphins as being the animals covered under the "generic" term dolphin. I don't think it is debated if the various "whale" species of the Delphinidae family are dolphins or not, I've always seen them being referred to as being dolphins, including more scientific literature. It is quite simply general consensus. If you can find scientific literature that argues against these whales being dolphins, feel free to bring it up. BabyNuke (talk) 16:58, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

The taxobox is an infobox for taxa. Dolphins are not a taxon, so they shouldn't have a taxobox. I know some people see an infobox as an imprimitur of article legitimacy, but presenting a taxonomy for a group that is taxonomically unsound is just beyond the pale. It is misleading and unencyclopedic. Hesperian 04:51, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Dolphins are blue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Disputed Evolutionary Evidence[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} Dear Registered User,

Under the subtitle "Evolution" there is a controversial sentence that some readers and scientists disagree with. The sentence is: "In October 2006 an unusual Bottlenose Dolphin was captured in Japan; it had small fins on each side of its genital slit which scientists believe to be a more pronounced development of these vestigial hind legs."

However, more recent research suggests that, whereas most dolphins have two fins, some dolphins have four fins, the back two fins simply used for steering (and not evidence of evolutionist change). An explanation to this view: "Today’s two-finned dolphins may actually have the latent genetic information for generating all four fins. All dolphins may have once had two rear fins, and subsequently lost the information for generating them. Since the fins are not used for propulsion but for steering, it may be that one pair is adequate, so natural selection would not work against a mutation that corrupted the information to develop the rear pair." Source:

Could a registered user kindly allow for this view of the dolphin as well? I would suggest a new category under "Evolution" labelled "Creationist Response," but if the registered user finds this inconvenient, a simple edit to this sentence would suffice. I would suggest the following edited sentence:

"In October 2006 an unusual Bottlenose Dolphin was captured in Japan; it had small fins on each side of its genital slit which some scientists believe to be a more pronounced development of these vestigial hind legs. However, recent research suggests these fins are characteristic of the rarer four-finned dolphin, which uses these fins for stabilization, and therefore may not be evidence of previous vestigial hind legs."

KoreanStephen (talk) 15:59, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Not done: I've reviewed your link. It does not seem to be an authoritative source. It seems to be mostly speculative. (I.e. there are a lot sentences with "may" and "might" in them.) If you could give a link to a peer-reviewed journal or newspaper report that would be better. Cheers,--Aervanath talks like a mover, but not a shaker 20:59, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
One thing I did notice is that the word "legs" is probably out of place, so I changed it to limbs. I am not aware of any other "four-finned" dolphins, but even if they would be around, it would not really work against it being a genetic "left over" - basically that is still what you are saying yourself here! BabyNuke (talk) 02:49, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

In addition, Wikipedia can't be used to give support to fringe theories. See fringe theories and undue weight. Giving "equal time" to creationist beliefs promotes it as a valid scientific theory, which it is not. Also, your suggested sentence uses weasel words.Punkrockrunner (talk) 17:18, 22 February 2009 (UTC)punkrockrunner DOLPHINS CAN PERTECT HUMANS FROM SHARKS.THEY GET ALONG WITH HUMANS. ALSO THEY CAN KILL A SHARK.dash the dolphin swims tords the big scary mean sharp teeth shark. dophins are born alive not inside an egg.................' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Just no, absolutely not. Wikipedia suffers enough from poor grammar, poor writing that gets progressively more off topic, and sometimes just completely false information (such as the statement that dolphins are hairless which is untrue). There doesn't have to be a section for every fanatic out there to be satisfied what they believe is mentioned no matter how ridiculous it sounds and having no impartial evidence to support said ridiculous claims. There's no reason you can't be a good scientist and marvel at the wonders of the universe god as you understand it created. You can't however combine the two perfectly word for word. Unless you want to sound completely uneducated and ridiculously illogical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Some unsourced and unspecified statements[edit]

It says in the article that "their sense of hearing is superior to that of humans". It think that should be specified, including: what ranges of frequencies can dolphins hear?; how strong are the sounds that dolphins can hear? And since the comparison with humans is made, those same numbers from humans should be mentioned too.

It also says that they are "considered to be amongst the most intelligent of animals". What is this based upon?; Why isn't this mentioned and elaborated upon in the article itself? I know this also, but are there tests for this?; What is the source for this statement? Debresser (talk) 14:23, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

the dolphins are great i hope i get to see one.that will be great if it save me from a shark attack ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I WISH IT WHERE MY PET I WILL HAVE MILLONS........... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Chasing ships[edit]

Is there any mention of dolphins chasing ships in the article. I was on a cruise once and the dolhins were trying to outrun the vessel.

I think this is covered (briefly) under the "Jumping and playing" section: "Dolphins also seem to enjoy riding waves and frequently 'surf' coastal swells and the bow waves of boats. Occasionally, they're also willing to playfully interact with human swimmers." Rlendog (talk) 01:32, 26 January 2009 (UTC)


please, somebody put an infobox for animals! -- (talk) 15:20, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Person riding dolphin[edit]

The story of a person riding on the back of the dolphin comes from apocryphal history, not mythology. By that, I mean the story is recorded in Herodotus, not Homer, with eyewitness verification corroborating certain elements of the story. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Typical speed of animal? Time underwater?[edit]

I can not find this information in article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:25, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Check academic journals for this info. They should have a lot more to say. Minorcorrections (talk) 19:11, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Free willy a dolphin?[edit]

Is it me or is some of the information on Dolphinariums is incorrect? It gives Shamu the famous killer whale as a Dolphinarium. What is going on here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

If you'd actually have read the rest of the article you'd have realised Orcas are also a species of dolphin. BabyNuke (talk) 17:13, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Killer whale, koala bear, horseshoe crab... common names are often wrong. Orcas are indeed dolphins. --King ♣ Talk 14:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Dolphins are not fish[edit]

In the first senctence of this entry it says dolphins are a type of fish. They are not fish. They are marine mammals. Nickridiculous (talk) 06:33, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

And they do not hybrid with apes! Bullshit was added at 04:25, 6 July 2009: mammal --> fish + chimp/dolphin hybrids. (talk)

Vandalism obviously, reverted. BabyNuke (talk) 10:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Dolphins are mammals. U learn it in 2nd grade. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Holywalkyr (talkcontribs) 03:08, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Read the "Origin of the name" bit. BabyNuke (talk) 10:03, 14 August 2009 (UTC)
They're all 'fish'. Cetacean common names were created by sailors, ancient Greeks in this case, and whalers; they also referred to them as "fish". The species Coryphaena hippurus (mahi-mahi) also has the common names of 'common dolphin' or 'dolphin', this article should mention that. cygnis insignis 11:40, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, we have a slide in meaning: In the times of yore, classifying dolphins as fish was perfectly reasonable. As time has gone by, a different classification method based on descent has taken over, and under this classification they are no longer fish. Notably, if an older text (possibly 19th century or earlier) claims that dolphins are fish, it does not display lack of modern knowledge, instead it uses a different definition of fish. The catholic church once stretched the definition to include beavers (in order to vary the menu on Fridays) (talk) 20:29, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Just to clarify: There is a true fish that is also called a dolphin – see dolphinfish. A lot of us also know it as mahi mahi. Shocking Blue (talk) 10:20, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

The word "fish" at one time simply meant sealife, with no regard to species classification. Consider "starfish", etc. —ᚹᚩᛞᛖᚾᚻᛖᛚᛗ (ᚷᛖᛋᛈᚱᛖᚳ) 14:07, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
its really fascinating to listen to some of the stories people come up with especially in an attempt to avoid being wrong about something (which is perfectly fine and if you simply said I made a mistake you wouldn't draw more attention to the mistake that you made). No matter what you want to argue, dolphins are not considered fish as that has a scientific definition and being a mammal has a scientific definition. Its not vague or open to interpretation. If you were on a forum called crusty old sailors from yesterday then you could call it a fish. But in a place that is suppose to be scientific and factual you cannot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Spelling Error[edit]

The following section contains a spelling error:

Six species in the family Delphinidae are commonly called "whales" but genetically are dolphins. They are sometimes called blackfish.

Wolphin Kawili'Kai at the Sea Life Park in Hawaii.

The False Killer Whale's genus should be Pseudorca.

Fixed. Next time, be BOLD and feel free to fix it yourself if you like. Auntie E. 03:02, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

What exactly is the above list supposed to mean? The listed species are all members of Cetacea and Odontoceti. That makes them whales. They may also be members of Delphinidae, but I don't understand why this article (and the Orca article) seem to take the position that being a dolphin is mutually exclusive with also being a whale.15:40, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, true, they are all whales. But I suppose generally speaking we tend to differentiate between whales and dolphins. If you look in the List of whale species article you notice that dolphins aren't in the list, though it is mentioned they are infact whales. I guess definitions here can become a tad confusing. BabyNuke (talk) 22:56, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Sleep cycles[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} it might be noteworthy to add

"Some species, in some circumstances, may be able to postpone sleep for long periods, or sleep may simply be difficult to recognize, as in the ever-swimming, blind Indus dolphin, whose sleep occurs in periods measured in seconds as it contends with strong river currents"

From : Mammalian Sleep Harold Zepelin Jerome M. Siegel Irene Tobler

available at : Darwinerasmus (talk) 17:29, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Not done: Welcome and thanks for contributing. That source, or the original pdf, is a good source, but you need to summarize or paraphrase what was written to avoid the appearance of copyright infringement. Please capture the information presented in your own words and let us know where you would like it added and someone will insert it for you. Thanks, Celestra (talk) 19:48, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Done it for you. Used a different source that provides a little detail on the experiment used to determine this.BabyNuke (talk) 12:37, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Pink river dolphin[edit]

I have heard of a pink river dolphin. Is there such thing? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Horselover25 (talkcontribs) 22:42, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

See Pink dolphin. Richard New Forest (talk) 15:47, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Sexual behavior[edit]

"Dolphins are known to have sex for reasons other than reproduction." Did somebody ask one? ;-) I think most or all species, and for that matter most humans, have sex for reasons other than reproduction. If there are humans who don't know how reproduction works, but have sex anyway, then one can surmise that it is the same with dolphins, squids, ants, whistlepigs, buzzards etc. (Again, I haven't asked.) I am assuming what is meant here is something like "dolphins are known to have sex other than when the female is in estrus" or similar? -- Gyrofrog (talk) 17:52, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


It says here that Dolphins don't drink sea water. They, in fact, obtain their water mostly from their food. This begs the question as to how a dolphin catches a fish underwater without swallowing a bunch of water with it. Perhaps that's why some species throw the fish out of the water? If anybody knows, I am curious and I think it would improve the article to add this information. Thanks. -- (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:46, 24 May 2010 (UTC).

Ingesting a bit of water is unavoidable I suppose, but if you look into a dolphin's mouth you'll notice the tongue blocks off his throat completely, preventing sea water from entering, so the amount of seawater that will come with the food when they swallow is probably minimal. See: BabyNuke (talk) 10:52, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

they are the happiest animal in the world! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Dolphin Intelligence[edit]

Is there any real scientific proof that Dolphins are as intelligent as people think? Perhaps it would be better to rephrase it to something like "Dolphins are considered to be among the most intelligent...". —Preceding unsigned comment added by KaneRyles (talkcontribs) 18:17, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Weasel words. (Also, this whole area is discussed in Cetacean intelligence). Perhaps the problem with this article is that intelligence is mentioned in at least three different places: in Dolphin#Behavior, Dolphin#Status, and Dolphin#Welfare. The last two could certainly be combined under "Welfare". HairyWombat 20:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
I think the Cetacean intelligence article mentioned above should provide enough information as to why dolphins are considered to be highly intelligent animals. I removed the "Status" bit now as it's just repeated in Welfare anyway. BabyNuke (talk) 09:11, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
The <ref> in Dolphin#Status was actually better than the one in Dolphin#Welfare, so I will take it across. HairyWombat 17:09, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Pls correct error in Lit section[edit]

Literature, second sentence, redundant use of word "dolphin" (talk) 14:17, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Babyb1u3, 16 September 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} Evolution See also: Evolution of cetaceans Dolphins, along with whales and porpoises, are descendants of terrestrial mammals, most likely of the Artiodactyl order. The ancestors of the modern day dolphins entered the water roughly fifty million years ago, in the Eocene epoch.

Modern dolphin skeletons have two small, rod-shaped pelvic bones thought to be vestigial hind limbs. In October 2006 an unusual Bottlenose Dolphin was captured in Japan; it had small fins on each side of its genital slit which scientists believe to be a more pronounced development of these vestigial hind limbs. When they notified the Taiji Whaling Museum they were informed that 50 million years ago dolphins had four legs and they eventually became aquatic as what we know now to be a dolphin.[13] Anatomy Dolphins have a streamlined fusiform body, adapted for fast swimming. The tail fin, called the fluke, is used for propulsion, while the pectoral fins together with the entire tail section provide directional control. The dorsal fin, in those species that have one, provides stability while swimming. Though it varies per species, basic coloration patterns are shades of grey usually with a lighter underside, often with lines and patches of different hue and contrast. The head contains the melon, a round organ used for echolocation. In many species, elongated jaws form a distinct beak; species such as the Bottlenose have a curved mouth which looks like a fixed smile. Some species have up to 250 teeth. Dolphins breathe through a blowhole on top of their head. The trachea is anterior to the brain. The dolphin brain is large and highly complex and is different in structure from that of most land mammals. Unlike most mammals, dolphins do not have hair, except for a few hairs around the tip of their rostrum which they lose shortly before or after birth.[14* supposed to be] The only exception to this is the Boto river dolphin, which has persistent small hairs on the rostrum, or snout, which remain throughout their lives.[15 table 1 Iniageoffrensis] The male and female reproductive organs are actually located inside the urogenital opening. Usually if the dolphin has mammary slits it is female; however, there have been a few cases where males have had these slits. The only way to be sure of the gender is to determine and/or measure the distance between the umbilicus, genital opening, and the anus. If male each are spaced evenly apart, where as if female the genital opening is closer to the anus. [16] A recent study at the US National Marine Mammal Foundation revealed that dolphins are the only animals other than humans that develop a natural form of Type 2 Diabetes, which may lead to a better understanding of the disease and new treatments for both humans and dolphins.[16 changed this to 17] Senses Most dolphins have acute eyesight, both in and out of the water, and they can hear frequencies ten times or more above the upper limit of adult human hearing.[17 change this to 18] Though they have a small ear opening on each side of their head, it is believed that hearing underwater is also if not exclusively done with the lower jaw, which conducts sound to the middle ear via a fat-filled cavity in the lower jaw bone. Hearing is also used for echolocation, which all dolphins have. It is believed that dolphin teeth function as an antenna to receive incoming sound and to pinpoint the exact location of an object.[18 change this to 19 BOOK] The dolphin's sensory receptors are well-developed, with free nerve endings densely packed in the skin, especially around the snout, pectoral fins and genital area. However, dolphins lack an olfactory nerve and lobes and thus are believed to have no sense of smell. They do have a sense of taste and show preferences for certain kinds of fish. Since dolphins spend most of their time below the surface, tasting the water could function like smelling, in that substances in the water can signal the presence of objects that are not in the dolphin’s mouth. [19 change to 20 needs to be cited as] Though most dolphins do not have hair, they do have hair follicles on each side of their upper jaw that may perform some sensory function.[20 change this to 21 The small hairs on the rostrum of the Boto river dolphin are believed to function as a tactile sense possibly to compensate for the Boto's poor eyesight.[21 change to 15]

Babyb1u3 (talk) 06:35, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Not done: Please just specify the change you want to make without all of the existing section. The reference numbers, in particular, will take care of themselves if you merely ask to change an existing reference. The reference you want to add is a document on a download page of a resort and falls under self-published sources. Thanks, Celestra (talk) 14:09, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

All dolphins are born with hair, so they are just like any other mammal. It doesn't matter how thick or how many hairs there are. As long as they have them at some point then saying dolphins are hairless is just as ridiculous as the claim that humans are hairless apes.

"references that back the fact dolphins are not hairless"

[ABL Kane Productions. Touched by a Dolphin. TV Special.

Behrens, June. Dolphins!. 1989.

Bender, Lionel. Whales and Dolphins. 1988.

Bright, Michael.Dolphins. 1985.

Encarta. Sonar. 1987.

Lauber, Patricia. The Friendly Dolphins. 1995.

Patent, Dorothy H. Dolphins and Porpoises. 1987.

Patent, Dorothy H. Looking at Dolphins and Porpoises. 1989.

Pringle, Laurence. Dolphin Man. 1995.

Serventy, Vincent. Whale and Dolphin. 1985.

Stonhouse, Bernard. A Closer Look At Whales and Dolphins. 1976.

Strachan, Elizabeth. A Closer Look at Whales and Dolphins. 1985.

World Wide Web. Seaworld/Busch Gardens. 1997.] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Dolphin/toothed whale[edit]

This article says that dolphins are similar to whales, but there are others that say that dolphins are toothed whales. Which is correct?-- (talk) 04:51, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't say in this article dolphins are similar to whales? Dolphins are indeed Toothed Whales.BabyNuke (talk) 13:18, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

It does say that they are similar to whales, in the first sentence. This is misleading if dolphins are whales. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Cadavaca, 21 September 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}}

The word "coralling" in the Feeding section should be corrected to "corraling".

Cadavaca (talk) 17:22, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Rodhullandemu 18:18, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Dolphins in the Straights of Gibraltar[edit]

Can somebody edit this page to include the importance of study of the dolphin population in Gibraltar, it was the centre point of study by the European Cetacean Society this year as this link shows

And is worth including. Thanks: Qulligan (talk) 12:59, 30 September 2010 (UTC)


Please include under the conservation links. I am no part of the website, but it is one of the most active conservation campaigns for dolphins. Thank you! Jlspartz (talk) 13:58, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi. This looks like a worthy organisation, but I'm afraid it's not an appropriate link for Wikipedia. There's a WP guideline that explains why: WP:EL. Regards, Richard New Forest (talk) 16:45, 4 October 2010 (UTC)


The first paragraph of the Dolphin article states that "The family Delphinidae is the largest in the Cetacean order,". When I initially read this I thought it inferred that it contains the largests members of the Cetacean order. I realized it meant that it contains the most members among each of the families. Perhaps it should say that Delphinidae contains the largest number of species in the Cetacean order. Just a suggestion.Caremich (talk) 20:45, 18 January 2011 (UTC)


I removed

Since the late 1960s, SeaWorld’s Shamu orca shows have become popular. In 1988, SeaWorld had Southwest Airlines paint three aircraft in "Shamu" colors to promote their parks.

This seems to belong on the seaworld article if anywhere, doesn't seem to have anything to do with dolphins. Alex Watson (talk) 22:28, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 23 June 2011[edit]

In the reference to dophins in popular culture, I found the following: ", popularized dolphins in" The comma at the start of the string I quoted should be removed. (talk) 17:06, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Already done Jnorton7558 (talk) 00:22, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
My bad. I took care of that yesterday, and forgot to come back here and reply. Boneyard90 (talk) 12:25, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Dolphin sonar[edit]

Dolphins can identify an object enclosed in an opaque box using sonar alone. No one yet understands how they do this. Also not understood is how they can precisely determine the vertical elevation angle of an object via sonar, when their ears are both at the same height. Although “The Sonar of Dolphins” (reference 39) details these phenomena, they aren’t summarized in the article. Psalm 119:105 (talk) 12:38, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Considering that it's not understood, best I can do is mention that it's not understood? BabyNuke (talk) 10:09, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes--that would be an accurate statement. Psalm 119:105 (talk) 17:59, 9 November 2011 (UTC)


This section talks about sex but not about offspring! Is there any info on this page that explains typical number of dolphins in a birth? If so, why isn't it in this section? Martindo (talk) 00:53, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Typically a dolphin will give birth to a single calf. Will add. BabyNuke (talk) 04:55, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Concerning Greek Mythology[edit]

For those who are not familiar with it, the so called here "a man or a deity" riding a dolphin in greek mythology is actually a legendary citharede called Arion, of whom further information is largely available here. I'd suggest being more specific. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 June 2012[edit]

I live in Clearwater, Fl, and "winter the dolphin mania" (and the new dolphin, Hope) is rampant here. It would be nice to have you add a link about The Clearwater Marine Aquarium (home to Winter), and the movie "Dolphin Tale". Afterall, you already have a wikipage about the movie, maybe it should also have a link in "Dolphins"? (talk) 15:28, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
Not done: I don't believe that this would be an appropriate addition to the page. It would just be advertising for the aquarium. Callanecc (talk) 18:02, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Another edit request[edit]

I would like to submit this photograph to go under jumping and playing section. It was taken in Gibraltar and is classic behaviour and a great example

common dolphin jumping, Gibraltar by Graham Hesketh

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dolphinsafari (talkcontribs) 11:48, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Also this one of two Bottlenose dolphins playing together:

Two Bottlenose dolphins playing together in Gibraltar 2012 taken by Graham Hesketh

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dolphinsafari (talkcontribs) 12:08, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Why is the article protected?[edit]

I was going to make a small change (adding a one-word parenthetical after the first instance of the word "rostrum" clarifying that it's the same as the "beak" discussed in the previous paragraph), but the article is protected. I looked through the archives and didn't see any edit wars, and certainly don't see a lot of contention on the talk pages that would seem to warrant protection. If there's no compelling reason to keep the article protected, can the protection be removed? (talk) 00:33, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

The indefinite semiprotection was set around 2007 (with attempts to lift it) because of vandalism. I've unprotected the article, hoping for low vandalism due to summer time, but this might not last. Materialscientist (talk) 00:39, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Deleted article listed as reference[edit]

Under the title "Evolution" there is a sentence that reads:

"In October 2006, an unusual bottlenose dolphin was captured in Japan; it had small fins on each side of its genital slit, which scientists believe to be a more pronounced development of these vestigial hind limbs."

The article listed as a reference (number 14 in the reference section) has since been deleted.

I have located two articles containing information which I believe may have been similar to that in the deleted article. - MSNBC article, "Dolphin reveals an extra set of 'legs'" - National Geographic article, "Dolphin With Four Fins May Prove Terrestrial Origins"

Danilynnrussell (talk) 06:17, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I've updated with the NatGeo reference. Cheers, CMD (talk) 07:53, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 7 December 2012[edit]

Dolphins have larger brains than humans (talk) 20:56, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Not done: Vague statement only; no specific change requested. —KuyaBriBriTalk 21:20, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 18 February 2013[edit]

Add the following under "literature" section heading:

Biophysicist Leo Szilard, one of the Manhattan Project scientists who invented the atomic bomb in the 1930s and also urged U.S. presidents Roosevelt and Truman not to use it, featured dolphins as a metaphor for voices of reason in a Cold War short story ”The Voice of the Dolphin” (1960). Russian and American scientists came together in an imaginary research center in Vienna, where they learned to communicate with dolphins and changed the world.

Reference: R. Scott Sheffield, “When Speaking as a Scientist Is Not Enough: Leo Szilard on Playing with Dolphins.” Newsletter of the History of Science Society, Vol. 38, No. 2, July 2009. Available at:

Fritzm3 (talk) 03:18, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Done, with tweaks for brevity. Please let us know if you think I left out anything crucial. Thanks for providing the only referenced content in that section. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 12:13, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Suggested merge with Delphinoidea[edit]

Why exactly are 'Dolphin' and 'Delphinoidea' two seperate pages? They are the same thing aren't they?

Porpoises and monodontids aren't dolphins, so no. SHFW70 (talk) 19:04, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Dolphin rape cave, myth?[edit]

There is a story on the web by some Scott whatnot about dolphin rape caves, group of dolphins taking a swimmer with their prehensile penis which can "grab" limbs, then going into rape caves where they are repeatedly raped and torn apart. Google rape cave if you want to read the story, it claims there are 14 cases of rape by dolphins each year, which isnt a big number so its possible, and that most of them are near the shore were escape was easy, implying being in the open sea and you had no chance, or maybe implying occurences aren't that rare. Also, in the same story there's the case of a young pilates instructor being dragged away on a coral tourist trip, and that she or her remains were never found. Finnaly, if this is true, there should be some indication that isnt "dolphin violence is rare" or "death by dolphins only come in captivity" in the interaction with humans section.

Edit: maybe I'm just gullible, but dolphins are very intelligent and other intelligent species like chimps are known to do very violent things on occasions so I don't know

While there's plenty of stories of sexual encounters between dolphins and humans (look up the book Wet Goddess as an example) and wild male dolphins have been known to exhibit aggressive sexual behaviour (both with members of their own species and at times others), the "rape caves" story doesn't seem to have any evidence to back it up. Is it possible that if you swim with a bunch of male dolphins they'll get frisky with you? Yes. Could you get hurt in the process? Possibly. Are they systematically gang-raping swimmers in caves? No.BabyNuke (talk) 18:07, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
See also: WP:CLUE Theopolisme (talk) 22:43, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Yeah the more I think about that story the less it makes sense: 1. there's only 1 story which is copied all over the web 2. no scientific or even serious news talk about it 3. Even if a dolphin's penis can possibly be prehensile, would it be willing or able to drag a human adult with it? 3. googling the scientific or victim quoted in the story only brings up more copies of the story 4. boca raton has no institute with the specific name "Dolphin Research Institute" 5. Why rape caves? Why drag people there with prehensile penises? Just seems fishy

Error in Literature Section[edit]

Under the literature section, the following sentence appears to be in error, probably as the result of a past edit:

'In David Brin's Uplift series, a talking dolphin named "Howard" helps Hagbard Celine and his submarine crew fight the evil Illuminati in Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus Trilogy.'

David Brin's Uplift series does contain numerous dolphin characters, but the rest of this sentence is a separate thought, about another literary work by other authors. Someone with access to the Brin novels might expand this, but at minimum, the first phrase of this sentence ought to be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

Looks like two sentences were spliced together. I went to the seperate wikipedia entries, and since I couldn't find mention of dolphins in the second series, I removed that second half of the sentence. If somebody knows more about either series, they can expand on it. Thanks for the heads-up. Boneyard90 (talk) 02:35, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

First paragraph[edit]

In the sixth sentence of the first paragraph, it says that the "smile" of the dolphin and their seemingly playful attitude have made them popular in human culture, and there is a link at "human culture". To me, "human culture" sounds strange in this context. I think "to humans" would make more sense here. If I substitute "to humans" for "in human culture", the link will go. I just wonder if that link is so important that it needs to remain there. If there is agreement that "to humans" is better than "in human culture" and the link is not so important, I will change it.CorinneSD (talk) 20:45, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I think the phrase human culture works here. Dolphins are a popular theme in a large number of cultures dating back thousands of years. From Native American art to classic Greece to present day dolphinariums.BabyNuke (talk) 22:42, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your comment. I agree that dolphins have been a popular theme in many cultures -- presumably mostly those located on oceans or large rivers that flow into the oceans. Therefore, I would suggest "have made them popular in many cultures" (or even "in many civilizations"), but not "in human culture".CorinneSD (talk) 23:49, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Re-reading that sentence, I think the article can actually just do without it. You're right, it doesn't sound quite right and doesn't really flow well either.BabyNuke (talk) 06:39, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
I have no objection to removing the sentence. It had several problems. Also, the prevalence of dolphins in art, literature, and popular culture has been covered in other sections of the article.CorinneSD (talk) 18:12, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Popular culture[edit]

In the second sentence of the second paragraph in this section, "Lisa...unwittingly initiates their plan to...." What is the antecedent of the word "their"? There is no plural noun before it. I presume it means " the dolphins' " (plural possessive), but dolphins are not mentioned just before this. Perhaps someone who saw the movie could remember whose plan it was and put a possessive noun instead of "their".CorinneSD (talk) 23:44, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

To me it seems pretty clear that "their" relates to "the dolphins". Though to be quite honest, I kinda feel that whole section (and the literature section) is somewhat dubious. While I think that Flipper and Free Willy are probably well worth mentioning because they've both become household names, many of the other entries just seem to be random examples; there's a huge amount of movies, TV shows and books that have featured dolphins in one way or another and I'm not sure what the criteria might be on what makes something worth mentioning here. Why is a short segment from a single Simpsons episode worth mentioning to begin with? BabyNuke (talk) 06:33, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree. I think both the Popular culture and Literature sections are bloated. Perhaps the detailed descriptions of plots can be deleted, just leaving the titles, perhaps displayed in list form.CorinneSD (talk) 18:17, 25 August 2013 (UTC)


I think the Conservation section is rather sparse in comparison to other sections of the article. I also wonder if it is really up-to-date. Perhaps someone could add more to this section.CorinneSD (talk) 18:19, 25 August 2013 (UTC)


When so many sea creatures, including dolphins, are struggling to survive, do we really need to give details of how to prepare and serve dolphin meat? Isn't it enough to mention that in a very few countries dolphin meat is a traditional food?CorinneSD (talk) 18:22, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored. - Boneyard90 (talk) 22:05, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. It may be a controversial subject, but that doesn't warrant its removal from this topic. Besides, I don't think this article will cause a sudden increase in dolphin meat consumption. Worth mentioning there though is that due to pollution, dolphin meat is toxic.BabyNuke (talk) 01:05, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I disagree on that point. I have not seen or heard of any sources or studies that suggest all dolphin meat (i.e. Peruvian dolphin meat). The sources I've seen focus on Japanese dolphin catch, and even that is looking disputable. The investigated toxicity of Japanese dolphin catch is described in other articles such as Taiji, Wakayama#Mercury concerns, Taiji dolphin drive hunt#Health risks. While the articles describe the research on possible mercury contamination (and in my opinion, come close to violating WP:UNDUE), the most recent studies continue to reveal that tested consumers show no sign of mercury poisoning. This article is broad in aspect, and should retain a summary of the various topics. If a reader wants more detail, then the section has links to Whale meat. In these summarized section, I see no reason to report a topic of absence (like toxicity) until there's actually something to report. If we do that, then we might also mention that, despite internet rumor, there are no such things as "dolphin rape caves". (see the earlier post.) - Boneyard90 (talk) 12:27, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to think that the concerns about the mercury levels in dolphin meat aren't quite as vague as the concerns about "dolphin rape caves". Also, the health concerns aren't limited to Japan; similar concerns exist with the meat consumed in the Faroe Islands. Also, just the other day, concerns about mercury levels in fish from the Pacific Ocean were reported in the media (see: With dolphins being an apex predator, I imagine their mercury levels would also be quite high. There may be no cases of acute mercury poisoning, but consuming meat that contains high levels of mercury may have adverse health effects in the long run.BabyNuke (talk) 20:26, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Very well. Added a section on health concerns. I feel it is appropriate size, as an addendum to the section. States relevant facts, but does not digress into the step by step description of the debate. How does it look? Boneyard90 (talk) 21:44, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Tweaked it a little and added two sentences regarding the Faroe Islands to illustrate the problem isn't limited to Japan.BabyNuke (talk) 01:58, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

C-Class article[edit]

This page is still listed as a C-Class article and although there's still some areas that could do with some work, I'd like to think it's come a long way from there. Do users still agree on this ranking and if so, what do you feel needs to be done to improve it?BabyNuke (talk) 20:29, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

There are scattered paragraphs throughout that need references. - Boneyard90 (talk) 21:46, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I'll go add some citation needed tags and get hunting for references and removing / changing sections that can't be referenced.BabyNuke (talk) 01:59, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Managed to get quite a few references added :) BabyNuke (talk) 04:26, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
If you think it's ready to be assessed B-class, I recommend you go to the wikiproject's assessment page and request an assessment, since there would be a COI if you or I upgraded the article. - Boneyard90 (talk) 12:43, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Why is there nothing about life span? How long do Dolphins live for? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Communication through touch[edit]

@BabyNuke:, @Rothorpe:, @CorinneSD:Touch is an important way in which dolphins relate to each other. Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication published 2008 by Yale University Press has quite a bit of information on this (preview available but perhaps not in all countries.Here's another source comparing touch between apes and dolphins which may be useful but can't be read online.[1][

There's no question in my mind but that we need a section on touch.

] On another point, anyone who saw the BBC's "Spy in the pod" must have gone away impressed by their ability to play - and even to indulge in recreational drugs!It was one of the most amazing documentaries I've ever seen, and I'm old. Dougweller (talk) 13:34, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

I've modified the behaviour section and used the reference you provided. The previous section was no good though.BabyNuke (talk) 17:12, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 March 2014[edit]

 Say something about what they eat and their physical traits. 
 Thanks for letting me request this message. Sheltonfn 

Sheltonfn (talk) 21:37, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Jackmcbarn (talk) 22:35, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Addition to Social Behavior[edit]

I was thinking about adding this sentence to the end of the 3rd paragraph in the "Social Behavior" section.

Culture and social networks have played a large role in the evolution of dolphins as well, as shown in recent research showing dolphins preferring other individuals with the same socially-learned behaviors, including the foraging behavior discussed above.[1]

Doan.77 (talk) 02:01, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

How long can dolphins live for? Average age?[edit]

How long can dolphins live for? Average age? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Betathetapi545 (talkcontribs) 20:10, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

It varies greatly per species and there's some difference between gender as well. As an example though, a Bottlenose may live up to 40 to 50 years, though the average is probably under 30.BabyNuke (talk) 03:16, 19 December 2014 (UTC)