Give Dolphin XOEarth Awards to eco friends and others to thank them for their past or pledged environmental actions.
Lovers of our Earth’s biosphere are invited to copy and share, or print and give, these commemorative XOEarth Awards to your government officials, friends, businesses, customers, volunteers and employees to thank them for their environmental actions – either past or pledged.
If you send us a self addressed stamped envelope and we will send a few XOEarth Awards to you for free. More info >
These Dolphin XOEarth Awards have been dedicated to:
+ The Dolphin
+ PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
+ Naomi Ages – Climate Liability Project Lead at Greenpeace USA. She focuses on establishing legal, political, and financial accountability for climate change, and achieving justice for climate-impacted and vulnerable communities.
+ Chelsea Clinton – helps the Clinton Foundation convene businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change
+ Dale Vince – vegan businessman, founder of ecotricity and chairman of Forest Green Rovers, the first ever vegan Soccer Club. Ecotricity has supported the cowspiracy follow up film seaspiracy, which is an environmental documentary about our oceans set to be released in 2018.
+ Rachelle Owen – peta2’s associate director of youth campaigns, oversees youth campaigns with 150,000 young people around the world who help animals through demonstrations, e-mail campaigns, efforts to implement dissection-choice policies and vegan cafeteria options at their schools, TeachKind, and PETA’s animal-friendly educational materials provided to teachers.
Dolphins are descendants of land-dwelling mammals of the artiodactyl order (even-toed ungulates). They are related to the Indohyus, an extinct chevrotain-like ungulate.
The primitive cetaceans, or archaeocetes, first took to the sea approximately 49 million years ago and became fully aquatic by 5–10 million years later.
Dolphin usually refers to the extant families Delphinidae (the oceanic dolphins), Platanistidae (the Indian Ganges river dolphin and Indus river dolphin), Iniidae (the new world river dolphins, South American river dolphins), and Pontoporiidae (the brackish dolphins, La Plata dolphin), and the extinct Lipotidae (baiji or Chinese river dolphin, Yangtze river dolphin). There are 40 extant species named as dolphins within the order Cetacea.
The name is originally from Greek δελφίς (delphís), “dolphin”, which was related to the Greek δελφύς (delphus), “womb”. The animal’s name can therefore be interpreted as meaning “a ‘fish’ with a womb”.
There are six species of dolphins commonly thought of as whales, collectively known as blackfish: the killer whale, the melon-headed whale, the pygmy killer whale, the false killer whale, and the two species of pilot whales, all of which are classified under the family Delphinidae and qualify as dolphins.
A group of dolphins is called a “school” or a “pod”. Male dolphins are called “bulls”, females “cows” and young dolphins are called “calves”.
Dolphins range in size from the 1.7 m (5.6 ft) long and 50 kg (110 lb) Maui’s dolphin to the 9.5 m (31 ft) and 10 t (11 short tons) killer whale.
Some dolphins can travel at 55.5 km/h (34.5 mph). Dolphins use their conical shaped teeth to capture fast moving prey. They have well-developed hearing which is adapted for both air and water and is so well developed that some can survive even if they are blind.
Dolphins feed largely on fish and squid, but a few, like the killer whale, feed on large mammals, like seals. Male dolphins typically mate with multiple females every year, but females only mate every two to three years. Calves are typically born in the spring and summer months and females bear all the responsibility for raising them. Mothers of some species fast and nurse their young for a relatively long period of time. Dolphins produce a variety of vocalizations, usually in the form of clicks and whistles.
Major anatomical evolutionary changes from a land mammal includes the hearing set-up that channeled vibrations from the jaw to the earbone which occurred with Ambulocetus 49 million years ago, a streamlining of the body and the growth of flukes on the tail which occurred around 43 million years ago with Protocetus, the migration of the nasal openings toward the top of the cranium and the modification of the forelimbs into flippers which occurred with Basilosaurus 35 million years ago, and the shrinking and eventual disappearance of the hind limbs which took place with the first odontocetes and mysticetes 34 million years ago.
Dolphins’ reproductive organs are located inside the body, with genital slits on the ventral (belly) side. Males have two slits, one concealing the penis and one further behind for the anus. Females have one genital slit, housing the vagina and the anus, with a mammary slit on either side.
Dolphins are highly social animals, often living in pods of up to a dozen individuals, though pod sizes and structures vary greatly between species and locations. In places with a high abundance of food, pods can merge temporarily, forming a superpod; such groupings may exceed 1,000 dolphins. Membership in pods is not rigid; interchange is common. Dolphins can, however, establish strong social bonds; they will stay with injured or ill individuals, even helping them to breathe by bringing them to the surface if needed. This altruism does not appear to be limited to their own species. The dolphin Moko in New Zealand has been observed guiding a female Pygmy Sperm Whale together with her calf out of shallow water where they had stranded several times. They have also been seen protecting swimmers from sharks by swimming circles around the swimmers or charging the sharks to make them go away.
Dolphins communicate using a variety of clicks, whistle-like sounds and other vocalizations. Dolphins also use nonverbal communication by means of touch and posturing.
Dolphins also display culture, something long believed to be unique to humans (and possibly other primate species). In May 2005, a discovery in Australia found Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) teaching their young to use tools. They cover their snouts with sponges to protect them while foraging. This knowledge is mostly transferred by mothers to daughters, unlike simian primates, where knowledge is generally passed on to both sexes. Using sponges as mouth protection is a learned behavior. Another learned behavior was discovered among river dolphins in Brazil, where some male dolphins use weeds and sticks as part of a sexual display.
Dolphin copulation happens belly to belly; though many species engage in lengthy foreplay, the actual act is usually brief, but may be repeated several times within a short timespan. The gestation period varies with species; for the small Tucuxi dolphin, this period is around 11 to 12 months, while for the orca, the gestation period is around 17 months. Typically dolphins give birth to a single calf, which is, unlike most other mammals, born tail first in most cases. They usually become sexually active at a young age, even before reaching sexual maturity. The age of sexual maturity varies by species and gender.
Dolphins are known to display non-reproductive sexual behavior, engaging in masturbation, stimulation of the genital area of other individuals using the rostrum or flippers, and homosexual contact.
Dolphins are capable of making a broad range of sounds using nasal airsacs located just below the blowhole. Roughly three categories of sounds can be identified: frequency modulated whistles, burst-pulsed sounds and clicks. Dolphins communicate with whistle-like sounds produced by vibrating connective tissue, similar to the way human vocal cords function, and through burst-pulsed sounds, though the nature and extent of that ability is not known. The clicks are directional and are for echolocation, often occurring in a short series called a click train. The click rate increases when approaching an object of interest. Dolphin echolocation clicks are amongst the loudest sounds made by marine animals.
Bottlenose dolphins have been found to have signature whistles, a whistle that is unique to a specific individual. These whistles are used in order for dolphins to communicate with one another by identifying an individual. It can be seen as the dolphin equivalent of a name for humans. These signature whistles are developed during a dolphin’s first year; it continues to maintain the same sound throughout its lifetime. In order to obtain each individual whistle sound, dolphins undergo vocal production learning. This consists of an experience with other dolphins that modifies the signal structure of an existing whistle sound.
An auditory experience influences the whistle development of each dolphin. Dolphins are able to communicate to one another by addressing another dolphin through mimicking their whistle. The signature whistle of a male bottlenose dolphin tends to be similar to that of his mother, while the signature whistle of a female bottlenose dolphin tends to be more distinguishing. Bottlenose dolphins have a strong memory when it comes to these signature whistles, as they are able to relate to a signature whistle of an individual they have not encountered for over twenty years.
Dolphins are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme, and grieve. The neocortex of many species is home to elongated spindle neurons that, prior to 2007, were known only in hominids. In humans, these cells are involved in social conduct, emotions, judgment, and theory of mind.Excerpts via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin
In recognition of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals‘s work to defend and liberate the world’s abused and tortured animals, and climate protection work by fighting animal factory farms, we are honored to dedicate these Dolphin XOEarth Awards to the PETA.org.
PETA is an animal rights organization and, as such, it rejects speciesism and also opposes the use and abuse of animals in any way, as food, clothing, entertainment, or research subjects.
One oft-cited quote of Newkirk’s is: “When it comes to feelings like hunger, pain, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.”
PETA lobbies government agencies to impose fines and/or confiscate animals when animal-welfare legislation has been violated, promotes a vegan lifestyle, tries to reform practices on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, sends undercover investigators into animal-research laboratories, farms, and circuses, initiates media campaigns against particular companies or practices, helps to find sanctuaries for animals formerly used by circuses and zoos, and initiates lawsuits against companies that refuse to change their practices.
The organization is known for its aggressive media campaigns, combined with a solid base of celebrity support—in addition to its honorary directors, Paul McCartney, Alicia Silverstone, Eva Mendes, Charlize Theron, Ellen DeGeneres, and many other notable celebrities have appeared in PETA ads. Every week, Newkirk holds what The New Yorker calls a “war council,” with two dozen of her top strategists gathered at a square table in the PETA conference room, with no suggestion considered too outrageous.
PETA gives an annual prize, called the Proggy Award (for “progress”), to individuals or organizations dedicated to animal welfare or who distinguish themselves through their efforts within the area of animal welfare.Excerpts via Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_for_the_Ethical_Treatment_of_Animals.
In recognition of their important climate change awareness and actions to slow it down, we are honored to dedicate these Dolphin XOEarth Awards to the Greenpeace.org.
Greenpeace was one of the first parties to formulate a sustainable development scenario for climate change mitigation, which it did in 1993.
According to sociologists Marc Mormont and Christine Dasnoy, Greenpeace played a significant role in raising public awareness of global warming in the 1990s.
The organization has also focused on CFCs, because of both their global warming potential and their effect on the ozone layer. Greenpeace was one of the leading participants advocating early phase-out of ozone depleting substances in the Montreal Protocol. In the early 1990s, Greenpeace developed a CFC-free refrigerator technology, “Greenfreeze” for mass production together with the refrigerator industry.
United Nations Environment Programme awarded Greenpeace for “outstanding contributions to the protection of the Earth’s ozone layer” in 1997. In 2011 two fifths of the world’s total production of refrigerators were based on Greenfreeze technology, with over 600 million units in use.
Currently Greenpeace considers global warming to be the greatest environmental problem facing the Earth. Greenpeace calls for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak in 2015 and to decrease as close to zero as possible by 2050.
To reach these numbers, Greenpeace has called for the industrialized countries to cut their emissions at least 40% by 2020 (from 1990 levels) and to give substantial funding for developing countries to build a sustainable energy capacity, to adapt to the inevitable consequences of global warming, and to stop deforestation by 2020.
Together with EREC, Greenpeace has formulated a global energy scenario, “Energy [R]evolution”, where 80% of the world’s total energy is produced with renewables, and the emissions of the energy sector are decreased by over 80% of the 1990 levels by 2050.
Excerpts via Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenpeace.
XOEarth Award Printing Tips
To print these awards or the other designs, first go to your browser’s file menu and then to print preview. Decide which page you want to print. Set the margins to zero. Increase the custom size to between 100% to 107% depending on your browser. Then print.
In the print preview window, there should be 4 designs per page – on two or more pages. If you don’t see 4 designs per page, un-maximize the browser window and then adjust the width of the browser window so that it is about 1/3 the width of your full screen. The webpage should look narrow. Open the print preview window again. Then print.
If you send us a self addressed stamped envelope and we will send a few XOEarth Awards to you for free. Details at xoearth.org/awards.
For more printing tips see XOEarth.org/printing-tips.
There are two kinds of XOEarth Awards – Fast and Slow. Slow XOEarth Awards have a place to write the name of the person being honored, the eco action they have taken, and the name of the presenter. Fast XOEarth Awards don’t need to be filled out.