What Is the Bottlenose Dolphin's Food Chain?

The bottlenose dolphin is a tertiary consumer that eats marine animals such as crustaceans, squid and fish. The only predators that dolphins have concerns about are certain sharks and killer whales.

In the food chain, there are primary producers, which include plants and algae. These producers make their own food and food for other creatures. Producers are eaten by primary consumers, such as crab and shrimp larvae. Secondary consumers, such as squid, fish, and worms, eat the primary consumers. Tertiary or third consumers, such as bottlenose dolphins, eat the primary consumers.

While fish make up a large part of the dolphin's diet, the other foods they eat often depend on where the dolphin lives. Those who live closer to shore tend include bottom-dwellers organisms in their diets, while those who live out in the the open ocean will sometimes dive up to 500 feet to find food.

Although bottlenose dolphins are often considered to be at the top of the food chain in the marine ecosystem, they are occasionally eaten by some large species of sharks and killer whales. Additionally, they are threatened by human encroachment and pollution.