Yes, dolphins do have teeth.
In fact dolphins belong to the toothed whale suborder and teeth are present among all the various species of dolphin.
Although all dolphins are equipped with teeth not all species use their teeth for eating or tearing apart their prey.
Depending on the dolphins species some dolphins (such as the killer whale) will use their teeth to rip apart the flesh of their prey while others (such as the bottlenose dolphin) only use their teeth to grip their prey but will consuming their food whole.
The number of teeth a dolphin has can also vary greatly depending on its species.
Dolphins can have anywhere from a few dozen to over 250 teeth at a given time and some species (such as Risso’s dolphin) may only have teeth that are present on the lower jaw.
In terms of whether or not dolphins are able to taste the food they eat it has been determined that they do have some level of taste, however their sense of taste isn’t as well-developed as other mammals.
While not much is known about the dolphins sense of taste they have been seen showing preferences in what types of food they enjoy eating when being fed fish at marine parks and aquariums, and when fed foods containing citric flavoring bottlenose dolphins displayed a number of characteristics indicating their ability to taste the citric acids.
Types of prey dolphins consume
Most species of dolphin stick to a diet that consists primarily of small fish and squid however there are a few species that also consume larger prey and marine mammals.
Here are some foods that dolphins have been known to consume:
- Cod (a common fish)
- Capelin (a common fish)
- Herring (a common fish)
- Mackerel (a common fish)
- Squid (dolphins generally hunt small squid, but a few species may hunt larger species of squid)
- Plankton (a common food source for fish, dolphins and whales)
- Krill (a small crustacean; a popular food source among blue whales)
- Cephalopods (which include octopus, squid and cuttlefish)
- Sea lions (eaten by the killer whale)
- Walruses (eaten by the killer whale)
- Seals (eaten by the killer whale)
- Sharks (eaten by the killer whale)
- Birds (eaten by the killer whale)
- Sea turtles (small oceanic turtles)
- Whales (eaten by the killer whale)