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Dolphins are certain aquatic mammals related to whales and porpoises (all of which are sometimes called "cetaceans"). They are social animals, living in pods, where the animals can establish strong bonds between each other. Dolphins are widely believed to be amongst the most intelligent of all animals. A typical statement is that dolphins are roughly as intelligent as a two-year-old human. The military has employed dolphins for various purposes; from finding mines, to rescuing lost or trapped persons.

The most commonly known species of dolphin is the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, made popular in part by the TV series "Flipper", and by marine parks around the world that display the animals. There are almost 40 different species of dolphin in total, ranging in size from the 4 foot long tucuxi, to the killer whale, which is actually the largest member of the dolphin family Delphinidae. Porpoises, while closely related, are in a different genus.


[edit] Dolphins in furry fandom

See also: Dolphin characters
Dolphin and horse anthropomorphic characters
Dolphins of any species are among the more uncommon animals chosen for characters in the furry community. They are perceived as an animal entirely without hair, causing many to argue that they don't fit into the "furry" description when the term is taken too literally. However, this is biologically incorrect, or at least imprecise, as dolphins evolved from a wolf like ancestor that used to roam the land and was furry. Also, like all mammals, dolphins in fact do have hair. Before birth, they grow a number of hair follicles on their rostrum (beak) which they usually loose shortly before or after birth. Dark spots remain where the hairs once were. The Boto river dolphin is the only known species to retain these hairs.

Some people will opt to play a dolphin character as a standard non-anthro dolphin, often with the premise of being isolated to water environments, or possibly able to float through the air by means of magic or technology. Jaidara constructed a bio-mechanical dolphin fursuit for his character Wishy, showing a non-anthro dolphin contained within a mechanical body with legs and arms, able to walk on land.

Others will play their characters as anthro dolphins with legs and arms. Style of the characters tends to be a humanoid form with dolphin-like head, a dorsal fin extending from the middle of the back, and a tail with dolphin tail-flukes on the end. Notable anthro dolphin fursuits include Calafin and Aphinity.

[edit] Sensory abilities and adaptations

Dolphins have excellent awareness of their surroundings thanks to keen sensory abilities.

Dolphin eyesight is considered very good, with an ability to change the focal length of their eyes on demand to suit both in water and above water environments. Their pupil is not round and is rather horseshoe shaped when closed, leaving two openings along the eye that would be emiting two images onto the retina. It is thought that this unique construction may allow them to perceive depth perception with one eye. Dolphins are unable to see shades of red, but have very accute vision in shades of green and blue.

Hearing ability is one of the dolphin's greatest assets. Dolphins do have ears, but they are sealed by wax from the outside at a point called the auditory meatus and are non-functional in the traditional sense. Dolphin bones, due partially to boyancy reasons, are filled with a thick oil that conducts sound very well. Sounds propagate through the water or air to their jaw, which then vibrates their inner ear and allows them to hear sound. Dolphins can be observed orienting their jaw towards objects or pressing their body towards the source when listening closely to something.

Dolphins have an advanced sonar sense called echolocation that they use to find objects in cloudy or dark conditions, as well as in loose sand. By producing a series of rapid clicks, the dolphin listens to the reflected echos and gains a mental image of the surroundings. They can tell the shape and material an object is made of, even complex abstract objects. They have also been reported discerning whether a predator has eaten recently and whether a potential mate is pregnant or not. Dolphins have been proven to be capable of interpreting another dolphins sonar without being present in the same environment, as well as being able to interpret an environment through sonar without generating any sounds themselves.

Sound generation is accomplished through a pair of air sacks just below their blowhole. These sacks can be squeezed and manipulated independently to create whistle and click type sounds, similar to a stretched neck of a balloon. Sound travelling from air to water has nearly 90% reflection, so dolphins have an organ at the front of their head called their melon which is filled with thick oils and fats of different densities that allow them to direct sounds from air to water with much greater efficiency. Dolphins can focus sounds with their melon on a widespread or small area, which is particularly useful when used with echolocation.

[edit] Sexuality truths and rumors

Dolphins are notoriously sexual and it has been argued that dolphins are the only species other than humans, and bonobos, known to have sex for fun, rather than exclusively for reproduction. To this end, speculation and folklore has spread about their abilities in this area through the internet and other media, particularly through the zoophile community.

Dolphin males maintain their sleek body style by containing their penis within a slit along their ventral peduncle. Dolphins have been observed with the ability to extend and retract at will, often doing so while orienting with a potential mate. This observation has led many to state that a dolphin penis is prehensile, much like a monkey tail or elephant trunk, when this is actually untrue. Most mammals have a vascular penis, where blood flow causes the organ to swell and extend to erection. Dolphins, much like those of the equine species (to which they are distantly related), have a muscular organ which can be flexed or relaxed at will, but has no ability to move beyond what the muscles in the base of the genital region can orient it with.

Dolphin males have been described as having an extremely high-intensity ejaculation cycle, and some have described oral sex as potentially lethal. It is confirmed that a dolphin male will ejaculate a substantial quantity of semen in a short time with some reports from 50ml to over 100ml in quantity, perceivable required due to the salt water environment that acts as a natural spermicide. However, the pressure of delivery is not enough to cause bodily harm. You might want to think of it like this: Super Soaker brand water guns can shoot water with enough pressure to reach upwards of 50 feet. If a being can withstand that much water pressure at point blank range, it is highly improbable that a dolphin can kill you with an unfortunately aimed ejaculation.

Dolphin females have been rumored to have an ability to clamp down on their partners and provide a milking action. Since they live in a salt water environment, females have certain internal adaptations to ensure salt water does not get into the internal reproductive organs. A male must push past multiple folds within the female's vagina and the female must control certain muscles in order to relax the folds and make herself able to be fertilized. It is perceivable that the muscles to do this could be used in a way to create a rippling effect, although it is unknown if this is commonly done. Trainers and swimmers have confirmed that certain dolphins have the ability to suck on objects with their genital regions, as has been experienced when a lusty animal uses a human's knee or fingers in such a way (an extremely uncommon occurrence).

[edit] Dolphin lore

  • The popular television show Flipper, created by Ivan Tors, portrayed a bottlenose dolphin in a friendly relationship with two boys, Sandy and Bud; a kind of seagoing Lassie, Flipper understood English unusually well and was a marked hero: "Go tell Dad we're in trouble, Flipper! Hurry!" The show's theme song contains the lyric no one you see / is smarter than he.
  • Flipper, despite being a male, was portrayed by five different females. His well known voice, which is used in the media to this day, does not come from a dolphin; it is the sound of an Australian kookaburra, a species of bird.
  • After study at the Dolphins Plus research center in Key Largo, Florida, fantasy author Ken Grimwood wrote dolphins into his 1995 novel Into the Deep, including entire chapters written from the viewpoint of his dolphin characters.
  • The television show Seaquest DSV prominently featured a dolphin named Darwin, who could communicate vocally with the crew by way of a computer translation system known as the vo-corder (as well as having a simpler, cruder hand-signal system for communication when the vo-corder was unavailable), and assisted in the crew in various ways such as tagging another ship with a homing beacon and participating in experiments. Darwin was often referred to and regarded as a member of the crew by the captain and others, treated as something of an equal, even leading to the ship calling off a research mission in order to seek medical assistance when Darwin became sick during a study.

[edit] Phin

Colloquial diminutive of dolphin (‘phin), most often used to describe the smaller members of the Odontocetes. The term is non-derogatory, and is often used by an individual, with such a fursona, to describe him/herself in the furry world.

An anthropomorphic Phin will typically have humanoid hands and feet, but with face and tale of the animal from which its form is borrowed. A blowhole can be located on the top of the head. The creature's powerful tail can propel him/her through the water, making Phins excellent swimmers.

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