While it is rare that a dolphin will eat a shark, there are a few cases where dolphins have been found hunting sharks when they are hungry and their food supply is limited.
Most dolphin species stick to a diet that contains a variety of fish and other small aquatic lifeforms.
The only dolphins known to hunt and eat sharks are the killer whale and false killer whale.
In fact the killer whale is the largest of the dolphin species and can grow to lengths of up to 30 feet and weigh as much as 12,000 pounds!
The killer whale has been known to attack and consume a variety of prey from fish, squid and sharks to other marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, marine birds and even whales.
In cases where killer whales attack a shark they often hunt in groups using team oriented hunting strategies to capture their prey while also minimizing the chances of being injured themselves.
During these hunting expeditions killer whales may be seen circling a shark or forcing it into a corner while another killer whale swims up from underneath the shark to flip it, which paralyzes the shark and puts it into a catatonic state so that it is defenseless while the killer whales go in for the kill.
While most species of dolphin have functional teeth only a few species use their teeth to tear apart their prey so that the can consume it more easily.
Some species only use their teeth to grip their prey and will swallow their food whole while other species don’t use their teeth at all.
List of foods dolphins can be found eating:
- Various fish
- Marine birds (eaten by killer whales)
- Seals (eaten by killer whales)
- Sea lions (eaten by killer whales)
- Sharks (eaten by killer whales)
- Whales (eaten by killer whales)