Why Don't Dolphins Have Gills?

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Dolphins do not have gills because they are not fish. They use a blow hole that is connected to lungs to breath. Learn more about how dolphins breathe with information from a dolphin behavioral husbandry and rehabilitation coordinator in this free video on dolphins.

Part of the Video Series: Dolphin Facts
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Petra Cunningham-Smith with Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida. Today we're going to talk about whether dolphins have gills. Dolphins are not fish, they're mammals so they don't have gills. Dolphins have lungs and they breathe air just like people, horses, dogs and cats. Dolphins breathe through a hole in the top of their head that's called a blow hole. And this is a direct passage from the outside to their lungs. When a dolphin surfaces after being underwater, it opens the blow hole and takes in air. It takes a breath just like you would take a breath. Then the blow hole closes up and seals and the dolphin can go back under water. And this is an answer to the question do dolphins have gills? I'm Petra Cunningham-Smith from Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida.


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