Typical Dolphin Behaviors

Dolphin Tours

If you go on a dolphin cruise with us here at Dockside Seafood and Fishing Center, you may become curious about what behaviors you might see out on the water- so read on to learn more about not only their habits, but also their social skills.

Social Behaviors

Dolphins travel in groups which are commonly referred to as pods. Pods will differ in size and structures depending on the size. If there is a location with an abundance of food, then a super pod, or a group of hundreds of dolphins, may form. It is common for dolphins to change what pod they are in. However, social bonds can also be formed. Dolphins have been known to stay with injured or ill individuals, and may even bring them to the surface to breathe if needed.

Dolphins use different clicks, whistling sounds and other vocalizations to communicate. They also use nonverbal clues similar to humans through touching and posturing.

Dolphins can be aggressive toward one another. Older male dolphins can probably be seen with more scars than the younger dolphins. This can be caused over disputes, competition over females, etc.

Feeding Behaviors

Most often dolphins will eat fish and squid. One way that they hunt down their food is through herding. A group of dolphins will squeeze a school of fish in to a condensed group, and then they will take turns plowing through, feeding on the stunned fish.

Another method would be through corralling where they chasse the fish into shallow water and have an easier time catching them.

Playing Behaviors

It is common to see dolphins jumping out of the water, and this is done for different reasons. One reason is saving energy for the dolphin, because there is less friction in the air. This is also done for social displays, fighting, or entertainment.

Dolphins are very playful. They will play humans, other dolphins, and even little self-made bubble rings. If they are playing with small objects, they will often times carry it along, or pass it back and forth between members of the pod.

Although interactions with humans in a playful way are the most obvious example, they do play on their own in the wild.

When you go on your dolphin cruise, keep a look out for these behaviors!


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