Large sharks prey on dolphins, they particularly target very young calves and sick adult dolphins as these are the weakest and most vulnerable individuals. Sharks are major predators of dolphins in some parts of the world such as coastal waters of Australia. In Sarasota, Florida, one third of the local dolphins have scars from shark bites.
The main advantage dolphins have against shark attacks is safety in numbers; they stick together in pods and defend one another from a shark’s attack by chasing and ramming it. Dolphins are able to protect vulnerable members of their pods and extended families such as young dolphins and injured or sick dolphins. Dolphins use their strong snouts as a powerful weapon to ram sharks, targeting their soft underbellies and gills to cause injuries.
Sharks pose less of a threat to larger members of the dolphin family. Indeed, orcas are the top predator in the ocean and small sharks are a target for some populations. Orcas will even attack and kill great white sharks just to eat their livers which are a high energy food source.
Amazing facts about whales and dolphins
Dive deeper into the world of whales and dolphins and learn more about their lives.
Facts about whales
Amazing facts about whales, the largest mammals to live on Earth.
Facts about dolphins
From the orca to the tiny vaquita, learn more about these creatures.
Whales and dolphins hold some incredible records.
Just how intelligent are whales and dolphins?
Help us keep all whales and dolphins safe and free
By adopting a dolphin or by making a donation, you can help us protect these amazing creatures.
Adopt a dolphin and follow the lives of these amazing creatures.
Your gifts help us take action to protect their homes.