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What do dolphins eat?

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asked Jan 1, 2016 in Science and Nature by tobylee
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Dolphins eat a variety of foods, depending on the species and the availability of prey, but they most frequently dine on squid, fish and crustaceans. [1] Dolphins that live along the coasts mainly consume fish and invertebrates that live on the bottom of the ocean, while those that live offshore enjoy fish and squid. [2]

 

"Amazon dolphin eating fish" by frank wouters - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amazon_dolphin_eating_fish.jpg#/media/File:Amazon_dolphin_eating_fish.jpg

 

Dolphins sometimes work in teams to capture prey, encircling schools of fish or herding them toward the shore or a sandbar to make it easier to catch them. A dolphin may stun its prey by using its tail to  flip a fish out of the water. Dolphins don't chew their food. They either swallow prey whole or drag their prey along the bottom of the ocean to break off pieces before consuming them. Sometimes dolphins follow fishing vessels where they feed on discarded fish. [2] They also use echolocation to find prey. [1]

 

Sources:

1. http://www.conservationinstitute.org/dolphin-facts/

2. https://seaworld.org/en/animal-info/animal-infobooks/bottlenose-dolphins/diet-and-eating-habits/

answered Jan 1, 2016 by jems (19,790 points)
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Each species of dolphin eats slightly different food [1]. Some eat squid and others eat fish, like herring. Some dolphins even eat turtles, seals or seal lions! The dolphins that consume this type of food are generally quite big.

 

While dolphins do have teeth, they do not use them for eating [2]. Instead, they simply swallow their food. The orca is the largest species of dolphin. Even though it is called a "killer whale," it is not actually in the whale family! This is true for pilot whales as well.

 

References:

 

[1] http://www.dolphins-world.com/what-do-dolphins-eat/

 

[2] http://www.wdcs.org/wdcskids/en/story_details.php?select=916

answered Jan 1, 2016 by Unckelli (50,310 points)

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