AN AMAZING FACT: Dolphins are wonderful creatures that belong to a group known as cetacean [pronounced si-TAY-shin] that includes all whales, dolphins, and porpoises. There are over 40 different species of dolphins and porpoises that can be found in most oceans and even in some freshwater rivers. Like humans, dolphins are warm-blooded mammals that breathe air and nurse their young. They are highly intelligent and usually live for about 20 to 30 years. Incredibly, dolphins can sleep in a semi-alert state by resting one side of their brain at a time. If need be, dolphins can hold their breath for five to eight minutes and can dive as deep as 650 feet.
A dolphin sheds a thin outer layer of skin every two hours. This slick, rubbery skin enables them to swim at speeds up to 35 mph. It’s no wonder they can keep up with speeding boats! In fact, engineers have studied the flukes on a dolphin’s tail to improve the effectiveness of submarines and boat propellers. Dolphins will always try to help sick or injured dolphins, and on several occasions have been known to assist or rescue humans stranded in the ocean, even to the point of chasing off threatening sharks.
To find their way around, dolphins use a type of sonar called echolocation to navigate through dark or murky water without bumping into anything. They produce powerful clicking sounds that travel through the water, then bounce off objects and return to the dolphin. A whopping 1,200 clicks a second can be transmitted ahead of a dolphin like a beacon. By the pitch of the returning echo, and the time it takes to get there, the dolphin can determine the shape, size, speed, texture, and density of the object. It can even view the inside of an object, almost like an X-ray.
To communicate, dolphins use a variety of noises called vocalizations that come from their blowholes. You could say that blowholes are the equivalent of a human nostril. Every dolphin has its own signature whistle to distinguish itself from its companions. Most marine biologists are convinced dolphins have a complex form of language used to communicate emotions and signals.
Jesus once illustrated His leadership in John 10 by comparing Himself to a shepherd calling sheep. If we are truly God’s sheep, we will recognize the communications of the Lord. We will distinguish the messages of God and those of the devil because we are connected to Jesus. The language of heaven will be familiar to us.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:27