Q:

How do dolphins get their food?

A:

Quick Answer

The most common techniques dolphins use to get food are called herding and corraling. Dolphins work together as a team to hunt and catch a school of fish and other prey.

Know More

Full Answer

Dolphins use various methods to obtain food, depending on their habitat and food sources. They typically use methods that require teamwork and cooperation. Herding is a hunting technique that involves encircling a school of fish and packing them into a concentrated group. Once a team of dolphins surrounds a school of fish, the dolphins swim from the bottom and alternately take as many fish as possible. Corralling means chasing fish to shallow waters. Dolphins sometimes drive fish against sand bars and shorelines, so they can trap and catch the fish easily. Like in herding, dolphins take turns snatching a large amount of fish.

Some species of dolphins use unique techniques to capture prey. In Shark Bay, Western Australia, coastal bottlenose dolphins place sponges on the edge of their noses for protection as they attempt to uncover bottom-feeding fish. They typically use a sponge when searching for food in rocky or sandy bottoms. Research by Georgetown University showed that female dolphins mostly use this technique, whereas male dolphins prefer to socialize than to learn the hunting strategy from their mothers. Additionally, bottlenose dolphins also sometimes use their tail flukes to flip a fish and catch the dazed prey.

Learn more about Marine Life

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the adaptations of dolphins?

    A:

    Among the adaptations of dolphins are hydrodynamic bodies, blowholes on top of their heads, flippers and flukes and echolocation. Some scientists believe that dolphins are able to enjoy the benefits of sleep even while they're in the water by having one half of their brains alert and the other shut down.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How high can dolphins jump?

    A:

    Some dolphins can jump as high as 25 feet above the water's surface. Juvenile spotted dolphins have been observed jumping 15 feet. Spinner dolphins get their name from the fact that they spin while jumping. Spinner dolphins can complete seven revolutions in the air before hitting the water.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do dolphins have teeth?

    A:

    All dolphins have conical teeth that are used for biting and trapping prey, such as crustaceans and fish, but are not used for chewing. Dolphins swallow their prey whole. Dolphins fall into the odontoceti, or "toothed whale," suborder of cetaceans, the order that includes all whales, dolphins and porpoises.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long do dolphins live?

    A:

    Wild dolphins usually live for between 25 to 30 years, while dolphins in captivity live to be around 40 years old on average. Few dolphins in the wild die of old age.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore