Organism Physiology Paper

901 Words Jun 2nd, 2012 4 Pages
Organism Physiology Paper
Dolphins are one of the most familiar and unique marine mammals known to people and occupy all the major oceans and seas of the world. Some species are even known to live in larger river systems. Dolphins belong in the kingdom anamalia; phylum, corata; class mammalia; order, cetacean; sub-order, odonteceti; family, delphinidae; genus, delphinus; and species, delphis. Dolphins are believed to have a long evolutionary past dating back several, tens of millions of years
Dolphins are very social creatures and use this group interaction for hunting, defense, and reproduction. Normally dolphins are found in groups or families of 2-40 members called pods. Larger groups in the hundreds have been reported and are
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The dolphins’ skin is extremely smooth, hairless, thick, and lacks glands. This skin is kept smooth by constantly sloughing off and being replaced. On average a dolphins skin is replaced at a rate nine times faster than a human, and in the case of the bottle nose dolphin, the outermost layer of skin is replaced every two hours.
Dolphins tend to rely on their sense of hearing to survive. They are said to have good eyesight, but in the blackness of the ocean, other senses have had to develop for survival. The shape of the dolphins melon (the fatty tissue in front of the blow hole) acts as a lens to focus sound when the dolphin produces high pitched clicks for echolocation. When the sound comes back the small bone under the chin, called the pan bone, receives the sonic report and stimulates the brain via the inner ear. Echolocation allows dolphins to judge distance by measuring the time between the emission of a click and its return. With this amazing skill, dolphins can determine the size, shape, direction of movement, and distance of objects in the water.
The dolphin has adapted quite well to its life as a fully aquatic mammal and has evolved the ideal shape and skill to breed successfully and thrive in any marine environment. The fascinating skill of echolocation gives the dolphin a huge advantage when feeding in the darkness of the ocean.

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