Q:

What are the predators of dolphins?

A:

Quick Answer

Dolphins are close to the top of their food chain with few natural predators other than sharks. When faced by a predator, dolphins often circle, head butt or use their tails to hit the other animal in self defense. According to the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, sharks often attack dolphins from behind or below as shown by bite scars.

Know More
What are the predators of dolphins?
Credit: Jeff Rotman Stone Getty Images

Full Answer

Sometimes, dolphins and sharks swim in nearby water without interacting. They often feed on the same school of fish. The Sarasota Dolphin Research Program indicates that there are questions as to whether sharks attack dolphins for food or to protect their own territory.

Humans are one of the greatest threats to dolphins. Pollution, including pesticides, plastics, heavy metals and materials that disintegrate slowly in the ocean, concentrate in dolphins. These animals are commonly injured or killed in collisions with boats, with a propeller collision causing a great deal of damage. Humans unintentionally kill dolphins when fishing, especially when using purse seine fishing for tuna. In some locations, humans hunt and kill dolphins with harpoons for food, even though the meat is high in mercury and poses a health threat to humans who consume it.

Because of consumer outcry against dolphins killed when netting tuna, several companies label the canned tuna they produce as dolphin-free. While efforts have reduced the number of dolphins killed when fishing for tuna by 50 percent, dolphins still die in this manner, according to Wikipedia.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do harbor seals eat?

    A:

    Harbor seals primarily consume fish, shellfish and crustaceans, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Protected Resources. However, MarineBio states that their diet varies by both location and with the season. In some areas, salmon and related species are important prey for the seals.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do whales reproduce?

    A:

    Whales reproduce by going through a courtship phase and mating. The male and female position themselves belly to belly and line up their reproductive organs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kind of adaptations does Hector's dolphin have?

    A:

    One of the most unusual dolphin species in the world, Hector’s dolphins have evolved several adaptations that allow them to survive in the oceans surrounding New Zealand. These adaptations include a relatively small body size, contrasting markings and a unique hunting strategy. Additionally, Hector’s dolphins share some adaptations with all dolphins, such as their blowholes, which allow them to breathe while they are underwater.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the smallest whale?

    A:

    The beluga whale, also called a white whale, is the smallest species of whale. The average beluga weighs 2,000 to 3,000 pounds and measures 13 to 20 feet in length.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore