What Does the Dolphin Say?

Lots of animals love to make noise, but the coolest might be the dolphin. It turns out dolphins make all kinds of sounds: clicks, squeaks, whistles, and creaking noises. Bottlenose dolphins make as many as 2,000 squeaks per second. The sounds bounce off objects, telling the dolphins how far away those things are. Dolphins also click to talk to each other…now if only we humans could figure out what they’re saying!

Wee ones: If there are 5 dolphins in a “pod” (group) and 1 dolphin has a baby, how many dolphins are there now?

Little kids: If a dolphin whistles only every other day starting on Sunday, what other days that week does it whistle?  Bonus: Dolphins can leap up to 15 feet in the air! How high above your head is that (if you’re standing at pool edge)? Find your height in feet!

Big kids: If 20 dolphins line up and every 3rd one is clicking, how many at most are clicking? (You can pick which dolphin is the 1st clicker.)  Bonus: It takes about 20 seconds to sing the ABCs. How many squeaks can a dolphin make in that time at 2,000 squeaks a second?

The sky’s the limit: If a dolphin creaks twice, whistles 3 times, then clicks 4 times, then creaks twice again to start the pattern again, what’s the 200th sound it makes?

Wee ones: 6 dolphins.

Little kids: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Bonus: Different for everyone…subtract your height in feet from 15.

Big kids: 7 dolphins, if the 1st or 2nd dolphin clicks. If it starts with the 3rd dolphin, the 18th will be last and only 6 will click.  Bonus: 40,000 squeaks.

The sky’s the limit: A creak. The dolphin makes sounds in sets of 9, so you can find the biggest multiple of 9 that’s less than 200, then count up. Cool trick: multiples of 9 have digits that always add up to 9 or a multiple of 9. 198 is the biggest multiple less than 200, so the 200th sound is 2 sounds into the next set, which is a creak. Another way to find it: we know 18 is a multiple, and so is 180, then 189 and 198.

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