Many people confuse dolphins with big fish. Irrawaddy dolphins are not fish and need to breathe air just like humans and other land animals. There are a number of differences between dolphins and fish ...

Dolphins Fish
Have hair – e.g. whiskers on their face Do not have hair – only scales covering their body
Warm-blooded Cold-blooded
Dolphins give birth to live young (usually born tail first) that suckle their mother’s milk Fish lay eggs or give birth to live young that usually eat smaller plants and animals
The baby dolphin cannot live without its mother for at least a year The baby fish are independent and do not need to be looked after
Females produce milk – the baby feeds on milk, just like a human baby Fish do not take care of their young
Have lungs. Must come to the surface to breathe air through their blowhole Do not breathe air. Take oxygen from the water through gills
Tail is horizontal and moves up and down Tail is vertical and moves side to side

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