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Why dolphins? Just as with horses, the answer lies in theunique nature of the animal. Dolphins have held a specialfascination for humans throughout the ages—in fact, dol-phins are prominently featured in several ancient culturesand religions. Another reason dolphins are so deeply rooted in thehuman imagination is their undeniable intelligence.Researchers have determined that even humans may ranksecond to dolphins in brainpower—at least in terms ofbrain size and anatomy. Still another attraction is dolphins’highly refined communication system—so different fromour own but perhaps equally expressive and complex. Adolphin produces clicking sounds from just below its blow-hole. When the sounds hit an object, they bounce back andtell the dolphin where the object is. Dolphins also let out arange of whistles and squeals that distinguish a particulardolphin from other dolphins, and convey emotional statesand other information.With long (8 to 10 feet [2.4 to 3 meters] for an adult),streamlined bodies, an average weight of 400 pounds (181kg), swimming speeds of up to 35 miles (56 km) per hour,and as many as 26 razor-sharp teeth in each side of theirjaws, dolphins are gentle, graceful, and friendly-looking—all traits that humans find comforting and appealing. Thedelicate, curved shape of dolphins’ jaws gives them a con-stant toothy grin. What’s more, most dolphins seem to beintensely interested in humans.

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