BOTTLE NOSE DOLPHINS
Dolphins are active predators and eat a wide variety of fishes, squids, and crustaceans such as shrimps. The foods available to a dolphin vary with its geographic location.
- Coastal dolphins tend to eat fishes and bottom-dwelling invertebrates.
- Offshore dolphins tend to eat fishes and squid.
- Some offshore dolphins were found with deep-sea fishes in their stomachs. This evidence suggests that offshore dolphins may dive to more than 500 m (1,600 ft.).
Methods of Collecting Food
Dolphin’s diets are based on the species. Feeding behavior is flexible and adapted to a dolphin’s particular habitat and available food resources. Bottlenose dolphins frequently use cooperative hunting strategies for locating and catching prey. Dolphins also feed on individual, nonschooling fish. A bottlenose dolphin may use its tail flukes to flip a fish out of the water, and then retrieve the stunned prey. Some coastal bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia seem to use a certain species of sponge as a shield when foraging in areas with rocky or sandy bottoms. Bottlenose dolphins often feed in association with fishing operations.
The increased new popularity of swimming with dolphins programs throughout the world have brought more and more dolphins into danger as their feeding and breeding areas are being invaded by tourists. Sometimes, dolphins are killed not because they are a source of food, but because they prey on the same fish species than humans. Therefore, many fishermen have killed dolphins specifically because they think dolphins will ruin their catch. Even more, there are some countries that eat cetaceans, including dolphins. In Japan, dolphins are hunted. The meat of some dolphin species is seen as a delicacy, and can cost up to US $25 a pound.
Dolphins like humans will take the easier approach in life. When people offer them food, dolphins, like most animals, they learn to beg for a living, lose their fear of humans, and do dangerous things the Flipper myth of a friendly wild dolphin has given us the wrong idea. Flipper was actually a trained, captive dolphin who did not bite the hand that fed him. Then the dolphins now become reliant on humans craving the food the humans have to offer example sardines. http://dontfeedwilddolphins.org/ click this link to view a video of a dolphin explaining how his eating habits changed.
Dolphins do not necessarily hunt humans but in some cases they may attack humans if they are not trained or in the mood to be bothered. Wild dolphins and even dolphins in the will bite when they are angry, frustrated, or afraid. When people try to swim with wild dolphins, the dolphins are disturbed. Dolphins who have become career moochers can get pushy, aggressive and threatening when they don’t get the hand-out they expect.
“Bottlenose Dolphins Diet & Eating Habits.” Bottlenose Dolphins Diet & Eating Habits. Seaworld Park and Entertainment, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://seaworld.org/en/animal-info/animal-infobooks/bottlenose-dolphins/diet-and-eating-habits/>.
“Don’t Feed Wild Dolphins.” Don’t Feed Wild Dolphins. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://dontfeedwilddolphins.org/>.
“Dolphin Predators.” Dolphin Facts and Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <http://www.dolphins-world.com/dolphin-predators/>.