Is A Bottlenose Dolphin A Carnivore, Herbivore, Or Omnivore?

Delphinus truncates, commonly known as Bottlenose Dolphin is a widely distributed marine mammal belonging to the family Delphinidae – including the dolphin which lives in the oceanic world. Among all the 40 species of dolphins, the Bottlenose Dolphin is considered the most intelligent creature. So, what do they eat? Are they herbivores or carnivores? Let’s find out.

How Do The Bottlenose Dolphin Look Like?

Bottlenose dolphins have robust dark grey colored bodies, with light grey patches on the sides or necks that may be white or pink. They have short snouts which look like a bottle, having a pointed tip. The body of the Bottlenose Dolphin can reach up to 12 feet or 3.5 meters in length and is approximately 300 to 1,400 pounds or 135 to 635 kg weigh.

Physical appearance of Bottlenose Dolphin

Is A Bottlenose Dolphin A Carnivore Herbivore Or Omnivore?

Bottlenose dolphins are neither herbivores nor omnivores instead they are purely carnivorous species – meat eaters. Their diet only relies on meaty foodstuff as they enjoy a variety of tasty meals. The meat provides the Bottlenose Dolphin with high proteins and fats which is enough to keep their energy level up.

What Is The Diet Of Bottlenose Dolphins?

These species of dolphins being carnivorous species feed on a variety of food items, such as:

  • Fishes
  • Shrimps
  • Squids
  • Crabs
  • Octopuses
  • Cephalopods
  • Sea lions
  • Penguins
  • Small sharks
  • Seals
  • Mollusks
  • Sea birds
Diet of Bottlenose Dolphin

How Much Do The Bottlenose Dolphin Eat?

As being giant carnivorous species, the Bottlenose Dolphin needs a large amount of prey to feed on to maintain the level of body energy in balance. The studies conducted on the feeding habitat of the Bottlenose Dolphin depicted that on average, each day the species eats about 20 to 30 pounds or 6.8 to 13.5 kg of food.

Do Bottlenose Dolphins Have Teeth?

Yes! They do have teeth. Interestingly, the Bottlenose Dolphin has around 100 teeth that are embedded firmly in the powerful jaws. But the teeth are of no use when it comes to chewing the prey. This is because Bottlenose Dolphins do not chew the prey instead, they swallow the prey in one bite. Interestingly, they have multiple stomachs which help to digest the whole prey.

How Do Bottlenose Dolphins Hunt Their Prey?

Usually, the Bottlenose Dolphin roam in the open waters lonely but when they have to hunt the prey, they join to form a group or a pod to encounter the large prey. They, however, hunt alone to grab small prey such as the bottom-dwelling species. They also use echolocation to locate their prey, sometimes the echolocation is so powerful that it will stun the prey which makes it easy for the species to grab the prey.


All over the globe, the Bottlenose Dolphin has a wide range of distribution, except in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The enormous creatures keep the body’s energy in balance by eating a large amount of food. These species are neither herbivores nor omnivores, they are truly carnivorous species that only include meaty foodstuff in their diet. Interestingly, instead of chewing the prey, the Bottlenose Dolphin engulfs the prey which is further digested by multiple stomachs – the digestive organ.

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.