10 Intimate Photos for Dolphin Day

Today is a day to celebrate one of the planet's most intelligent creatures.

April 14 is Dolphin Day, an occasion meant to bring awareness to the iconic marine mammals. The day has been observed for several decades, with events planned around the world each year. In that time, there's been much progress in our understanding of dolphins, and in efforts to protect them. But there's still work to do.

Dolphins are highly intelligent, and scientists have been working for years to decode their complex communications, with some success. (Learn more about this work.)

Much research has also been done on dolphin conservation. The animals are now protected in many countries, although hunting still persists in some areas. Dolphins are also often killed by pollution, collisions with ships, and in bycatch from fishing, although the fishing industry has worked hard to reduce the latter problem.

And controversy surrounds the practice of keeping of dolphins in captivity, with some animal advocates opposing the practice.

In this gallery, we share some of our favorite recent photos of dolphins.