AMC – Dolphins

By NASA–Wikimedia commons

I have never seen dolphins in the sea — only in captivity at the SeaWorld in San Diego, CA, and at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, CA.

It’s hard to believe that these animals evolved from land-dwelling mammals to become aquatic mammal within the infraorder Cetacea. The wiki says —

Dolphins are descendants of land-dwelling mammals of the artiodactyl order (even-toed ungulates). They are related to the Indohyus, an extinct chevrotain-like ungulate, from which they split approximately 48 million years ago.

The primitive cetaceans, or archaeocetes, first took to the sea approximately 49 million years ago and became fully aquatic by 5–10 million years later.

That means, the ancestors of dolphins migrated to the sea after the extinction event 65 million years ago that killed of the non-avian dinosaurs. A bit more from the wiki:

Dolphins range in size from the 1.7-metre-long (5 ft 7 in) and 50-kilogram (110-pound) Maui’s dolphin to the 9.5 m (31 ft 2 in) and 10-tonne (11-short-ton) orca. Various species of dolphins exhibit sexual dimorphism where the males are larger than females. They have streamlined bodies and two limbs that are modified into flippers. Though not quite as flexible as seals, some dolphins can briefly travel at speeds of 18 miles per hour or leap about 30 feet. Dolphins use their conical teeth to capture fast-moving prey. They have well-developed hearing which is adapted for both air and water. It is so well developed that some can survive even if they are blind. Some species are well adapted for diving to great depths. They have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin to keep warm in the cold water.

This post was triggered by a cute video of dolphins I came across a few minutes ago. (Mute the sound — the soundtrack is trash.)

And naturally, that brought to mind a favorite song with dolphins in it. The Dolphins by Fred Neil.

This old world may never change
The way it’s been
And all the ways of war
Can’t change it back again

I’ve been searchin’
For the dolphins in the sea
And sometimes I wonder
Do you ever think of me

I’m not the one to tell this world
How to get along
I only know the peace will come
When all hate is gone

I’ve been searchin’
For the dolphins in the sea
And sometimes I wonder
Do you ever think of me

You know sometimes I think about
Saturday’s child
And all about the time
When we were running wild

I’ve been searchin’
For the dolphins in the sea
And sometimes I wonder
Do you ever think of me

I will have to become more frequent with music posts.

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

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