We went to the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida with our friends and other homeschoolers on Friday. They have a cool mission: “Through education, research and rescue, Dolphin Research Center promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the environment we share with the well being of DRC’s animals taking precedence.”

After we checked in, a lady led us to a building and separated us into groups. Our group walked down a long pier and saw some sea lions first. The oldest one was a retired showgirl. The biggest one was the only boy. And there were two other girls that always stuck together. They were all rescued from other parts of the country.

Then we walked down a long pier and saw lots of dolphins in natural lagoons. We watched some of them do tricks. Dolphins jumped, swam fast around the lagoon and came up to people. They hula-hooped with their noses. At the end of the show, all four jumped at the same time. We heard the dolphins talking with a click-click-click noise. They also danced. A family got into the water with the dolphins and touched them. They dolphins played in front of them in the water. It was very cool.

We went back to the building to ask our questions. We learned that 1 out of every 4 dolphins get cut with boat motors and dolphins have thicker skin than most mammals. I asked if dolphins and porpoises were in the same family. The lady said no, and explained that porpoises have different shaped teeth. Dolphins have cone-shaped teeth and porpoises have spade-shaped teeth and smaller “beaks.”

After that, we went to see the rescued birds. My favorite was the blue parrot. He was out of his cage and messing with a vehicle. He was trying to pull the steering wheel off and it was funny. We played around the waterfall with our friends for a very long time after the tour.