Can Dolphins Beat Sharks?


Quick Answer

Dolphins have historically had a reputation for being shark killers. This reputation may have arisen from an incident at the Miami Sea Aquarium in the 1950s during which a group of bottlenose dolphins killed a sandbar shark that was swimming too close to the dolphins' young. However, there is very little scientific evidence to suggest that dolphins would overcome a shark in a confrontation.

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Full Answer

Studies conducted on the relationships between sharks and dolphins suggest that dolphins are able to categorize sharks into the dangerous and non-dangerous species. Non-dangerous species usually consist of those types of sharks that normally do not attack dolphins in the wild, such as lemon, sandbar and nurse sharks. For the most part, dolphins leave sharks they deem not dangerous alone. However, there is evidence to suggest that the sharks that do attack dolphins in the wild, such as great whites, tiger sharks and bull sharks, usually come out on top when they confront dolphins.

Dolphins have been documented fleeing from dangerous sharks instead of fighting them in the wild. There are some cases, such as in Scotland in the 1990s, where pods of dolphins were discovered killing porpoises by bashing them with their tails and snouts.

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