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Motion and Swimming
Dolphins use their powerful tail flukes in an up and down motion to move through the water. Fish usually move their tails from side to side.
Dolphins also use their tails when hunting by hitting a fish up into the air with their tail, then scooping the stunned fish up when it falls back into the water.
A dolphin slapping its tail on the water may be a signal of annoyance, or a warning to other dolphins of danger.
Their side flippers, called pectoral flippers, are used to steer them through the water, and they also use them to stroke one another. When they stroke each other, it increases the social bond between them.
Dolphin "friends" may swim along face to face touching flippers. Dolphins that appear to be closely bonded may swim in synchronization, twisting, turning and swimming in perfect harmony together.
Dolphins are able to dive to great depths, and they can also leap out of the water to great heights. They may leap to avoid predators or to show how powerful they are to females at mating time. Noisy splashing jumps may also be used to herd fish. Bottlenose dolphins can dive to depths of over 1,640 ft (500m).
|Copyright Details: This text excerpt is used by permission from Sally Kirby at Dolphins Around the World
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