Food preferences & Resources

Dolphins are active predators and eat a wide range of fishes, squids, and crustaceans such as shrimps. The foods accessible to a dolphin vary through its geographical location.

You are watching: What kind of fish do dolphins eat

Dolphins show solid preferences because that certain types of food fish.

coastal dolphins have tendency to eat fishes and bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Offshore dolphins tend to eat fishes and also squid. Part offshore dolphin were uncovered with deep-sea fishes in your stomachs. This evidence argues that offshore dolphins may dive to an ext than 500 m (1,600 ft.).

Food Intake

Adult bottlenose dolphin eat about 4% to 6% of your body load in food per day. A parenting mother"s everyday intake is considerably higher — around 8%.

A dolphin"s stomach is compartmentalized for quick digestion.


Methods that Collecting and also Eating Food

Feeding habits is versatile and adjusted to a dolphin"s certain habitat and easily accessible food resources.

Hunting strategies room varied and diverse.

Bottlenose dolphins often cooperate when hunting and catching fish. In open waters, a dolphin team sometimes encircles a huge school of fish and herds the fish right into a small, thick mass. The dolphin take transforms charging v the institution to feed. Near the surface ar of the ocean, dolphin at Sarasota Bay, Florida, may roll to their sides v one pectoral flipper elevated high. The dolphins encircle a institution of fish, splashing their tail flukes and also forcing them to bunch in a tighter and tighter team until the dolphins revolve to grab a quick meal on the go. This hunting technique is described as "pinwheeling". "Drivers and also blockers" is a rare example of an animal hunting an approach that demonstrates a clear department of labor. While hunting fish, some of these highly devoted groups space "divers" that smack the water"s surface ar with your tail flukes come herd fish right into a circle. Others stay less than a body length apart native each other to block and also prevent fish indigenous escaping. This method has been documented in bottlenose dolphins turn off the waters that Cedar Key, Florida. Sometimes dolphins herd institutions of fish versus sand bars, shorelines, or mud financial institutions to catch them in shallow water whereby the fish are basic prey. This hunting technique is described as “strand feeding”. Dolphins likewise feed on individual, nonschooling fishes. A bottlenose dolphin might use the tail flukes to flip a fish out of the water, and also then retrieve the stunned prey. Throughout the hunting technique known together "crater feeding," bottlenose dolphins dive snout-first into the sandy bottom trying to grab an unsuspecting fish. This an approach got its name due to the fact that of the craters the dolphins left behind in the sand. Some coastal bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, west Australia it seems to be ~ to use a certain varieties of sponge (Echinodictyum mesenterium) together a shield as soon as foraging in locations with rocky or sandy bottoms. Researchers have actually observed a small variety of females delivering the sponges on your beaks, diving down, and then dropping the sponge simply prior to surfacing and also swallowing prey. Researchers theorize the the sponge acts as a shield to protect the dolphin"s mine (rostrum) native spines of specific fishes or stingrays, or from sharp shells or rocks when the dolphin digs into sandy-bottomed habitats searching for prey. This sponge-carrying tool-use behavior has only been watched in numerous female dolphins and some of your female offspring at Shark Bay. In a actions termed "kerplunking," bottlenose dolphin foraging in shallow sea grass bed in Australia and also Florida, slap the water"s surface ar with their lower body and also flukes developing a splash of balloon to startling fishes out of hiding and also make them much easier to catch. When mullets get in shallow water turn off the west coastline of Florida, dolphin swim around them when hitting the ocean floor through their tail flukes. This create a ring of mud which surrounds the fish. In a scare the fish leap up into the air...and right into the mouths of the dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins frequently feed in association with fishing operations. Dolphins may accompany shrimp trawls or other fishing vessels and also feed on discarded fishes recorded incidentally in the nets.

See more: How Many 80 Pound Bags Of Concrete Are In A Yard ? How Many 80 Pound Bags Of Sakrete Make A Yard


Dolphins do not chew your food. Prior to eating huge fishes, bottlenose dolphin shake castle or obstacle them ~ above the s floor until suitable-size pieces break off. They additionally strip meat indigenous spiny fishes, reduce the chance of injury from spicy spines.