Dolphins are mammals, which means, like us, they require fresh water to survive. But how to do they get water? They live in the sea, which contains a large amount of water but unfortunately this is salt water, which for mammals can cause kidney damage and dehydration if drank in excess. They actually obtain their water through eating other animals such as fish and squid whose bodies contain a high amount of fresh water. They eat them whole and as they are broken down inside the dolphin the water is released and absorbed.
But how do they get fresh water before they can hunt?
When they are first born, dolphins are unable to hunt to obtain their water, however they obtain essential nutrients through their mothers milk. As you can imagine, drinking a liquid while immersed in another liquid could prove quite a challenge but dolphins have developed a way to stop the milk being lost into the ocean. They have specially adapted tongues that wrap around their mother’s nipple in a straw and lock together like a zip so that the milk is kept inside the calf’s mouth and no salt water is accidentally drunk.
Dolphins milk is not like normal cows milk and is thicker due to its high fat content, dolphins will nurse from their mothers for around 6 months until they will switch to obtaining their nutrients and water supply from their prey, as such, throughout their lives the only liquid they drink is milk.
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