Sharks are widely known as the top predators of the ocean, and there is no doubt they have ruled the waters for centuries. But, it is also true that sharks are not the only creatures ruling the world of oceans, but sharks too have predators. Furthermore, there are also animals that are known for their kindness and caring nature, but sharks are scared of them, for example, dolphins.
It might sound a bit surprising to you, but it’s true that sharks are afraid of dolphins where; the dolphins are known for their loving and caring behavior, so much so that they have a reputation for helping injured individuals as well.
Known for their cleverness and intelligence, dolphins know very well how to protect themselves from aggressive animals such as sharks. To put it simply, sharks are afraid of dolphins because dolphins can easily dominate over sharks when confronted, but it should also be noted that dolphins attack sharks in groups so that they can easily outrank sharks’ strength.
But is this enough explanation considering the point that sharks are at the top of the food web? Let’s get into more details below and see why sharks are afraid of dolphins.
Sharks vs. dolphins
Inhabiting the world’s oceans, sharks and dolphins are marine creatures, and both are famous for their distinct features and characteristics.
Among shark species, you will find more than 500 types, whereas dolphin species are very few. Despite this, dolphins are widely distributed, and almost all of them live in the warm waters of the tropics. Yet some species prefer colder climates, including the right whale dolphin. So you are likely to see both the sharks and the dolphins in the oceans.
Getting to know these creatures in a better way, let’s look at their behavior in general.
Many dolphin species live in pods of a dozen or more individuals, though the size and structure of pods can vary considerably between species. Their eating preferences are also different as per the type of breed, where most dolphins prefer to eat fish and squids. However, the large breed of dolphins does take on mammals and other marine animals.
Sharks, on the other hand, have distinctive qualities specific to each species. In general, they are known to be solo hunters and not choosy when it comes to food preferences. Do check here about the shark’s types, habitats, diet, and how you can identify sharks.
Moving on, how sharks and dolphins conduct themselves with each other is what matters the most to get an idea of why sharks are afraid of dolphins.
Why are sharks scared of dolphins?
As discussed, dolphins usually spend their time in pods, and for that, they attack sharks in a group. Whereas sharks are solo hunters, they can’t fight many dolphins at the same time.
More importantly, the largest of the dolphins, which are called killer whales or the Orcas, are famous for attacking sharks all alone. When it comes to Orcas, sharks cannot withstand their power and strength. Even aggressive great white sharks have been known to be hunted by orcas. Orcas flip sharks over onto their backs using their strong tail fins, impeding their movement. See what happens when the shark is upside down.
So the reason why sharks are afraid of dolphins is that sharks cannot fight back against the pod of dolphins; however, the scenario can be different when sharks encounter solitary dolphins. With that said, it also varies based on which type of sharks and dolphins are involved in the encounter.
Besides, sharks avoid dolphins for many other reasons, too.
For example, Dolphins are able to maneuver rapidly in a fight because of their soft skin and flexible joints while fighting against sharks. Do you know sharks have no bones? While still using their snouts to strike sharks’ gills, a well-placed hit can be deadly.
In addition, shark tails are vertical, limiting up-and-down movement, whereas dolphin tails are horizontal, allowing for quick directional changes and great agility.
When a dolphin is in danger, the rest of the group will come to help them, unlike sharks which swim alone. Besides, intelligence and speed further enhance the capabilities of dolphins over sharks.
Can dolphins kill sharks?
Though dolphins look cute and adorable, when they feel threatened, they can tear apart almost any animal, including the sharks.
As we have read above, sharks are fearful of dolphins, so most of the time, the shark will move away if they spot a dolphin around. But when confronted, dolphins can prevail over sharks.
Both dolphins and sharks are astounding creatures that frolic in our oceans and are equally important to maintaining a healthy food chain and to keeping the oceans healthy. With that said, sharks are frightened of dolphins and avoid direct confrontation. As discussed above, various factors are involved as to why sharks are afraid of dolphins.
To put this in a nutshell, it is because dolphins are more intelligent, faster, and above all that, they do not attack alone but with other dolphins in a group.