Q:

How do dolphins defend themselves?

A:

Dolphins travel in small pods to deter sharks from attacking them, and they avoid predators through the use of echolocation. When attacked, a dolphin's greatest defenses are his maneuverability, powerful tail, nose and teeth.

A dolphin cannot out-swim a shark, but a healthy social animal is not usually at risk for attack. Instead, sharks and other predators target isolated, ill, injured, elderly or infant dolphins. If a dolphin is forced to fight, he may choose to ram his nose into the vulnerable gills or bite down. A group of dolphins works together to defend themselves, but they rarely kill the predator, instead they seek to drive it away.

While most dolphins are too small to battle sharks and are uninterested in initiating fights, a few species such as the killer whale are large and coordinated enough to prey on sharks. Erroneously considered whales, orcas are part of the dolphin family and are named for their size, and their hunting of marine mammals and birds. Orcas hunt in packs, much like wolves, and work to isolate and immobilize their prey. Their echolocation allows them to hunt in dark environments. Both sharks and orcas are considered apex predators. In general, dolphins are carnivores, preferring to hunt and kill crustaceans and fish that cannot fight back.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What fish eat parrotfish?

    A:

    According to Oceana, predators of the parrotfish include grouper fish, sharks and moray eels. Parrotfish are omnivores and generally feed on turf algae, sponges, corals and reef-encrusting animals.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does a cuttlefish use for camouflage?

    A:

    Although they are color-blind, cuttlefish camouflage their bodies by using the millions of color cells in their body to create complex color patterns on their skin to elude predators. A cuttlefish has the ability to rapidly change their color to match their surroundings.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is hagfish slime?

    A:

    The hagfish uses slime to protect itself from predators, according to Sea and Sky, an informational website about space and marine life. The slime is made of tiny fibers that make it thick and difficult to remove.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the function of the lateral line of a perch?

    A:

    The lateral line of a perch allows it to detect vibrations caused by both predators that threaten it, such as hawks, and prey that it might want to eat, such as minnows. The lateral line also helps the perch detect changes in the current and in the water pressure.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore