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The returning sound is received in the fatty portions of the lower jaw where they are then sent to the ear and onto the brain.

Through this echolocation dolphins are able to determine the size, shape, direction and speed of objects in the water.

One of the most intelligent and beautiful creatures in our oceans and rivers, dolphins are universally adored.

We see them playfully jump and even hear them laugh as they frolic in the ocean.

The term echolocation refers to an ability to "see" with their ears by listening for echoes. The melon acts as an acoustical lens to focus these sound waves into a beam, which is projected forward into water in front of the animal.

Dolphins echolocate by producing a clicking sound and then receiving and interpreting the resulting echo. Sound waves travel through water at a speed of about one mile per second--4.5 times faster than sound traveling through air.

These warm-blooded animals belong to a group of mammals called Cetaceans, which also includes whales.

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Some coastal animals stay within a limited home range (an area in which they regularly move about during day-to-day activities).The coastal ecotype, one of the two types of bottlenose dolphins, seems to be adapted for warm, shallow waters.Its smaller body and larger flippers suggest increased maneuverability and heat dissipation.On the west coast of Mexico calving generally happens in the fall months. "Auntie" dolphins, either male or female, may assist with the birth and are often the only other dolphin allowed near the calf.Dolphins have a close parental relationship with their offspring, providing care through maturation.

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