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How do dolphins manage to jump out of the water?
- kengfoo (age 13)
Anglican High, Singapore
In order for a dolphin to jump out of the water, it has to be
moving very fast. If it is moving quickly enough, it can push itself up
out of the water, just like when you throw a ball up into the air.
Dolphins do this by swimming down to a spot deep below the surface.
Then they swim almost straight upwards, building up speed as they go.
By the time they reach the surface, they are moving quickly enough to
get themselves out of the water. The higher they want to jump, the
faster they need to be going, so the deeper underwater they will need
to start from.'
As for how they can stay outside of the water, that's the easy
part. Dolphins are mammals, not fish - they breath air just like we do,
and they don't even have gills. When they are in the water, they have
to come up for air from time to time or they would suffocate. In fact,
the only reason they need the water at all is because their skin needs
to stay wet or it will dry out. (And because they don't have legs to
move around on land.) When dolphins are moved from place to place (like
from a tank to the ocean or vice-versa), they are generally not even
carried in water. Their skin is kept damp by people with wet towels.
(republished on 07/18/06)
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