10 Ways Dolphins Show They Have a Darker Side

They Can (and Do) Bite Humans

In 2012, an eight-year-old girl was bitten on the hand by a captive dolphin at Sea World in Orlando, Florida. The young girl was tossing fish into the dolphin’s mouth when she ran out and raised the paper plate up in the air. This is when the dolphin leaped out of the water and grabbed the little girl’s hand in its mouth. It then pulled her toward the water before letting go.

They Attack (and the Attacks Can Be Fatal)

Two men were on the beach and noticed a dolphin in the water swimming close to the shore. The men decided to walk into the water and approach the wild dolphin. At first, things seemed fine; the dolphin was floating on the surface and letting the men pet it. But then the dolphin turned and rammed both men. One of the men sustained internal injuries so damaging he sadly passed away. The most likely reason the dolphin attacked was that it was under stress.

They Are Coordinated Assassins

Dolphins coordinate their attacks with one another, with each dolphin having a purpose in the hunt. One of the most popular methods dolphins use to trap fish is to corral them into a “bait ball.” The dolphins will act together and swim around the fish, closing in more and more so that the bait ball forms. As the fish swim in the small, tight area, the dolphins will take turns bombarding through the swarm, grabbing up prey as they go along.

They Hunt in Packs

While dolphin groups, or “pods” as they are called, are typically comprised of 10–15 dolphins, there may be more to the group when they hunt…a lot more. Hunting packs have been recorded to have 1,000 or more members. These are called “super pods” and would put fear into any prey they decide to pursue!

They Beat Up Their Food

One of the ways dolphins “play” with their food is called fish-kicking or fish-whacking. The name really says it all. In this method, the dolphins use their tail flippers much like a baseball bat to smack the fish. This sends the fish flying high into the air, leaving them stunned when they fall back down into the water. A stunned fish makes an easy meal. The dolphin simply swims over and swallows him whole.

They Murder Other Animals for Fun

Dolphins, unlike most other animals, seem to murder for reasons unrelated to food. Most of their aggression is directed to porpoises, although there is no known reason as porpoises are not a food source or rival dolphins in any way.

They Kill Each Other’s Babies

In 2013, scientists from Savannah State University made history by being the first to record a wild bottlenose dolphin giving birth. Sadly, immediately after the birth, they also recorded two male dolphins attacking the newborn calf. Luckily this calf survived the half-hour attack due to its mom fighting so hard to defend it.

Males Physically Assault Females During Mating

It starts when two or three (or more) males work as a team to chase one female and isolate her from the rest of the pod. In the process, the males will show aggression toward her by hitting her with their tails, charging, biting, or even slamming their bodies into hers.

Dolphins Share the Way They Kill

Dolphins are great hunters, whether they are hunting in coordinated attacks or solo. They have an arsenal of varied techniques to choose from for different prey. What makes them freaky is that they can constantly add new methods to their arsenal. How? By learning from one another.

They Can Be Jerks Just for Fun

On April 27, 2018, in Western Australia, Andrew Hill was on a paddleboard when a pod of dolphins appeared behind him in the surf. Hill tells the news, “Eight or nine of them decided to catch that wave and surf straight at me, which has happened lots of times in the past to me, and generally they just take off to one side left or right.”