National Dolphin Day is celebrated on April 14 every year. On this day, we celebrate dolphins — one of the most intelligent and friendly mammals in the world. Dolphins are cetacean mammals that belong to the same family as whales and porpoises. There have been many representations of dolphins in popular culture through books and films. Most of these popular representations are accurate. Dolphins are extremely social and friendly beings. They love company and have an acute sense of hearing. Yes, they can hear many more frequencies than adult humans. Dolphins can be found in many parts of the world although they prefer shallow waters.
History of National Dolphin Day
About 50 million years ago, certain four-legged land creatures started spending more and more time in the water, and they gradually started evolving. Their bodies became different and they eventually lost the ability to be mobile on land. These creatures are now known as dorudons and, like dolphins, they were aquatic mammals.
About 30 million years ago, squalodons lived in our waters. These toothed whales were not direct ancestors of dolphins as we know them today, but they did use echolocation. Echolocation is the tactic used by dolphins to navigate deep waters using sound waves. The use of echolocation is a key characteristic of both squalodons and dolphins.
About 20 million years ago, during the Miocene era, echolocation developed to be the way we know it today. Aquatic creatures which are now known to be connected to extinct dolphin-like creatures called Kentriodontids had active echolocators and even moved around in schools like dolphins do. Thus, over the years, these creatures have evolved to become the dolphins that we know and love today.
Dolphin numbers are at risk of endangerment due to poaching and hunting. Global warming and climate change are also causing many dolphins to die. In 2009, the American documentary film “Cove” directed by National Geographic Photographer Louie Psihoyos brought to light the many atrocities associated with dolphin hunting practices in Japan. The film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010, and helped spread awareness of dolphin hunting and how this affects their numbers.
National Dolphin Day timeline
Four-legged land creatures start spending more and more time in water and gradually started evolving into water-based mammals.
A toothed whale that uses echolocation like the modern dolphin frequents our oceans.
Dolphin-like creatures called kentriodontids use active echolocation to navigate waters.
The National Geographic Photographer Louie Psihoyos directs an award-winning film called “Cove” to alert people to rapid dolphin hunting in Japan.
National Dolphin Day FAQs
What year is the Year of the Dolphin?
2007 was declared to be the International Year of the Dolphin. The U.N. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (C.M.S.) established this to reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
Which date is Dolphin Day in India?
Ganga River Dolphin Day is observed in India on October 5 every year.
How do people celebrate National Dolphin Day?
Popular ways to celebrate National Dolphin Day include heading to a beach to see if you can spot a dolphin, or going on a boat ride.
How to Observe National Dolphin Day
Donate to N.G.O.s
Many initiatives are working towards the conservation and protection of marine life. Lend your financial support to one of these organizations.
Use this day to spread awareness about how important dolphin conservation is. Create a post on social media with the hashtag #NationalDolphinDay.
Listen to a podcast
You can find many educational podcasts about dolphins online. You can also learn about how they are impacted by global warming and climate change.
5 Fascinating Facts About Dolphins
There are 40 dolphin species
There are many different species of dolphins, but the one we are most familiar with is the bottlenose dolphin.
Dolphins are attached to their mothers
Dolphins sometimes stay with their mothers for up to eight years.
Dolphins are caring by nature
Dolphins care and look after the sick or injured members of their pod.
Dolphins travel collectively in ‘pods’
Due to their social nature, dolphins swim in groups called ‘pods’ that can have up to 1,000 dolphins.
Dolphins are light sleepers
While dolphins sleep, only half of their brain rests while the other half stays alert.
Why National Dolphin Day is Important
It celebrates biodiversity
This day is an opportunity to celebrate the different kinds of marine life on the planet. Dolphins are a unique species and add to the world’s rich biodiversity.
Dolphins need to be protected
Dolphins are slowly becoming endangered — some species more than others. It’s time for us to think about ways to help them survive.
It spreads awareness about climate change
A lot of marine life is getting destroyed due to global warming. Through collective efforts, we can bring about positive change and switch to sustainable modes of living.
National Dolphin Day dates