Papagayo beach Cristal Clear waters at Papagayo Beach, Lanzarote Lanzarote Román Borges Lebrun design - The sun from Lanzarote
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Dolphins Dolphins in Lanzarote, you will see then as you go on any boat trip a few miles from the coast, these are Atlantic Spotted Dolphins, Stenella Frontalis
Dolphins Lanzarote
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Lanzarote is the place where lots of marine species pass by due to its strategically emplacement in the Atlantic Ocean, however some families of dolphins have taken the waters in between the Canarian archipelago and the coast of Africa as their place of residence.
Las crías de delfín permanecen durante mucho tiempo junto a su mamá, quien les enseña día a día como sobrevivir y alimentarse en la mar, Delfin Listado, Stenella Coeruleoalba, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
The world of dolphins
Delfines, Delfín Mular, Tursiops Truncatus, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
We can normally spot some species of dolphins during the whole year round: Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops Truncatus), Atlantic Spotted Dolphin (Stenella Frontalis), Stripped Dolphin (Stenella Coeruleoalba), Common Dolphin (Delphinus Delphis), and also Risso's Dolphin (Grampus Griseus).
The African continental platform, where the Canary Islands are sitting, is a great fish growing place, especially next to the African coast where it is not so deep. The conditions of temperature and bio-diversity are perfect for the spawning and growing of many species of fish, this makes the African coast next to the Canaries and ideal fishing place. The winding Canarian coast provides sheltered spots for the growing of many species of fish. I have seen pods of hundreds of dolphins after the fish, which is their favourite food. Little fish stay together next to the surface of the sea, they look like a big dark stain on the water, dolphins surround the amount of fish, and some of them go through the amount of fish eating as much as they can and when they come out, some other dolphins go through the amount of fish, they do turns until the big stain in the water disappears.
An enormous brain
Delfines, Delfín Manchado del Atlántico, Stenella Frontalis, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
Delfin Listado, Stenella Coeruleoalba, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
The young dolphins remain next to their mother for a long time, she teaches how to survive and find food.

Where do dolphins live?
In the actual days there are over 30 species of dolphins, they live in the sea and in some rivers of Asia and South America .
Dolphins live in the sea, but they are not fish, they are mammals as the humans, that's why they have to come up to the surface to breathe as they have lungs.

A huge brain
Dolphins have bigger and more complicated brains than apes. If we compare the brain of dolphins and humans, we see that they are similar, both have very big brain hemispheres, and they are plied in a very complex way. In some species, the number of cortex neurones (coat where intellectual faculties are) is 50% larger than in humans. The capacity of comprehension in dolphins is as quick as in apes, and they are also very curious, the more difficult things are the more interesting it is for them. However, it is very difficult for Scientifics to study the dolphin intelligence, as many brain features are link to their mysterious orientation system.

How many kinds of dolphins are there?
Dolphins are mammals as the humans, but they have gone through many changes in their anatomy to adapt themselves to living in the water. They belong to the doelphinus family, which include small and medium size animals, from 50 cm to 9 metres the biggest, in total 31 species, some very different to the others, orcas belong to this family as well.
Dolphins have a long slender body shape with a bottle nose. Dolphins can be found close to the shores and in deep water zones as well. They normally go in large groups that in some species can be hundreds or thousands of individuals.
Some dolphins prefer to live in the rivers, it is not really a great difference for them salted or fresh water as they breathe through lungs and these river dolphins belong to the family of platanistids instead of dolphineds.
Delfines, Delfín Manchado del Atlántico, Stenella Frontalis, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
Dolphins Lanzarote
Delfines, Delfín Mular, Tursiops Truncatus, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
The sonar of the dolphins (lights & sounds under the sea)
The light in the water propagates in a different way than in the air. The light is rapidly absorbed, you cannot see beyond 30 metres not even in clear crystal waters. If you have ever watched through a submarine mask you have verified that you cannot see beyond 10 or maximum 20 metres, the light spectrum gets lost as we go into water, under 3 metres some colours disappear and turn into green and grey. This is a problem for the marine animals that move very fast, as the dolphins, if they can not clearly see their food or their enemies in the distance, the solution adopted by dolphins is the sound. Water is 800 times denser than the air and that is the reason why the sounds run 5 times quicker in the water.
Did you know that dolphins have very little smell?
The smell sense of a dolphin is very limited, even more limited than the human.
Through the course of evolution dolphins have gradually lost their sense of smell, which is highly developed in other land mammals, for example dogs.
The different species of dolphins lost their ancient sense of smell as their breathing conduits moved to the front top of their head, which produced lots of important changes in the function of these conduits.
If water should enter their lungs they would asphyxiate, to avoid this happening they have developed strong muscles that close the conduits when the animal submerges.
Sometimes a little water remains in the conduits but it never reaches the lungs because there are retention valves to avoid that.
Delfines, Delfín Mular, Tursiops Truncatus, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
Delfines, Delfín Mular, Tursiops Truncatus, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
Delfines, Calderón Gris, Grampus Griseus, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
Delfin Listado, Stenella Coeruleoalba, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
The dolphins, how they fish and orientate.
The dolphins use sounds to detect everything that surrounds them, what we call eco-localization, very similar to bats.
Dolphins send two different types of sounds, firstly they whistle, that's what they use to communicate and "talk" to other dolphins, you may have heard those whistles in aquariums, if you have ever done a maritime excursion and encountered dolphins you can hear their "clics" or "squeaking", ultrasonic sounds that they use to orientate.
During normal swimming when there's not much interesting around, dolphins send a constant signal in low frequency. This signal provides information about the zone, situation of the coast type of ground underneath, depth . . .
When the dolphin receives a new eco, the first thing is to get more information, at what distance? In which direction it moves? Is it a shark? Then it sends a series of different clicks (at a higher frequency), the echoes provide lots of information about the object, the nearer the object is the signals are sent continuously to get detailed information about it, and they sound as a continuous repetition clickclickclick . . .
The language of the dolphins, the whistling
We keep on thinking that the humans are the only ones to be able to talk and communicate to others. However, there are many mammals at the sea, including dolphins; they have a brain as big as the human, or maybe bigger. Scientifics think they are able to produce superior processes as thinking.
These are the precise species that are in condition to transmit an enormous amount of different sounds (thousands of combinations). Some aquarium dolphins imitate the sounds produced by their trainers as if they want to communicate with them, many experiences have been made in which dolphins placed in different aquariums talked to each other through a sort of telephone, when it was ON the dolphins produced a lot of whistles and sounds (whilst one spoke the others listened and vice versa) but when the telephone was turned off, the dolphins stopped sending whistles and only sent identification signals. It is difficult for Scientifics to decode the dolphin whistles as we cannot normally hear frequencies higher than 14000 vibrations per minute and definitely impossible to hear frequencies at 20000 vibrations per second. On the other hand dolphins send frequencies up to 300000 vibrations per second.

Did you know there are blind dolphins?
In the world there are around 10 species of dolphins that prefers living in rivers, the strangest of them is the one who lives in the Ganges River, as along its evolution lost a part of its sense of sight and nowadays is practically blind, their minuscule eyes can only differentiate light from darkness, how can they survive?, they have over developed and perfection their ultra sound orientation system, they fish and move using only echo localization. In fact sighting should be of no use in the troubled waters of Rivers like Ganges , Brahmaputra or Karna phuli ( India and Bangladesh ). The Ganges dolphin swims tilted to feel with their side fin the bottom of the river.
Delfines, Delfin Común, Delphinus Delphis, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
A super sonar, better than the navy's

40 years ago the USA navy started the design of the first sonar equipments, they discovered that in the water there were already animals that used the sounds to explore around and orientate: the dolphins
The dolphins sense of echo localization is far better than the ones used on the aircraft carrier or atomic submarines. The frequencies used by the human machines are far more limited than the dolphins. The dolphins produce sounds by means of the air contained in the breathing conduits and then their melon head directs those sounds to the precise direction, when the echoes return they are received by the inferior jaw, and they are transmitted to the middle ear and from there to their brain which decodes the meaning.
Delfines, Delfín Manchado del Atlántico, Stenella Frontalis, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias
The forefathers of the dolphins
Dolphins exist since longer than 12 million years, however some of their forefathers were already living in the seas since 40 million years: durodontids had a hydro dynamic shape and their nose holes were lightly moved towards the back of their skull. The primitive dolphins faced their biggest problem by entering the sea in which there were already dangerous animals, as the sharks, which had already improved their senses of smell and hear during millions of years. The nature selected during evolution the dolphins that had developed an efficient sonar system, and a body shape to make able to swim faster than many fish at the sea.
Being born in the sea
During evolution dolphins had to adapt to give birth in the sea. They have a pregnancy period of 9 - 18 months, depending on the species, during the birth the tail comes first, and when the newborn has totally gone out through, one or two "babysitters", female dolphins that take care of the newborn, they assist the baby by pushing its body to the surface so that it breathes. The breastfeeding period lasts normally one year (in some species several years). The little dolphins have to be fed under the water, near the surface to breathe regularly.

Sharks and dolphins, enemies forever
Dolphins have little enemies at the sea, only sharks and orcas can hunt them, and it normally happens when ill or newborn dolphins. Sharks generally follow groups of dolphins in the hope that one young specimen or an ill one stays behind. When a dolphin is attacked it charges against the weakest point of the shark, the gills for example. Once something peculiar was observed: 3 big sharks were at about to attack a little dolphin, then he started whistling to the other dolphins who came straightaway at speeds up to 60 kilometres an hour, they charged against the franks of the sharks.

The dolphins doing surf
Had you ever heard or read that dolphins like to swim preceding boats. When a boat navigates it produces waves around it, dolphins come to them playing and jumping. Dolphins don't look for food; they enjoy practising surf with the waves formed in the bows area when the boat cuts the sea as it sails. Dolphins go to the back top of the wave and gravity pushes them forward same as the surfing boards at the beach. This playing behaviour is common to superior mammals, as the humans, this shows a higher intellectual capacity.
Delfines, Delfín Manchado del Atlántico, Stenella Frontalis, Lanzarote, Islas Canarias

Very little sleep
Dolphins sleep only 2 - 3 hours in normal days. They get a deep sleep only for a few minutes in rare occasions. Bottlenose dolphins disconnect half of their brain and close the opposite eye when sleeping, the other half brain keeps awake under low attention level, what makes them keep aware of predators, obstacles and other animals nearby, it also determines when the animal must reach the surface for fresh air, after approximately 2 hours the animal inverts the process disconnecting the active side and waking up the other half. Dolphins sleep normally at night time but only during a few hours, they are normally active at midnight , possibly in accordance with groups of fish and squid, which come up nearer the surface in those moments. During these periods of uni-hemisphere sleep dolphins slow down their metabolism, the animal keeps still with very little movement. We can sometimes see them floating on the surface, with one eye open and one of the side fins out of the water.

Record in number of teeth
Some species of dolphins can have up to 260 teeth, and that is a record for a mammal

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