In this article, we’ll answer the question:
“Are dolphins dangerous?”
First, you’ll find a short summary about the dangerousness of dolphins in general, then get specific answers about these marine mammals like are dolphins aggressive, will they bite, do dolphins eat humans, etc.
Dolphins are carnivorous marine mammals within the infraorder Cetacea which also consists of whales. The term dolphin usually refers to the extant families Delphinidae, Platanistidae, Iniidae, Pontoporiidae, and the extinct Lipotidae, with the bottlenose dolphin being the most familiar species.
Are Dolphins Dangerous?
Dolphins are not dangerous unless provoked or agitated by humans. Dolphins typically avoid humans in the ocean and are only dangerous in captivity if the dolphin feels threatened by a person in the water like at swim-with attractions.
There was a recent USA Today report of a dolphin attacking a trainer at the Miami Seaquarium. One of the dolphins went rogue, breaking from his performance and getting violent with a trainer.
Are Dolphins Aggressive?
Dolphins can be aggressive to humans, other dolphins, and marine wildlife. Just like any wild animal, a dolphin can engage in aggressive behaviors when it feels threatened, is protecting its young, or feels encroached upon by people and other animals.
Many people have misconceptions about dolphins, believing they are friendly and harmless animals. However, the truth is that dolphins are highly intelligent apex predators who exhibit aggressive behavior in certain situations when they feel fear or a need to protect themselves or their young.
Do Dolphins Bite?
Dolphins do bite when they are angry, frustrated, or afraid. However, most dolphins are docile animals when humans are present in the ocean and most bites occur while people are getting too close or trying to feed them.
Dolphins in captivity have also been known to bite. In these cases, the dolphin is usually responding to stress or frustration. In many instances, the dolphin is simply trying to get a reaction from its human captors.
If you’re planning on swimming with dolphins, do your research and follow all safety guidelines. And if you’re ever lucky enough to encounter a wild dolphin, remember to give it the space it needs.
Do Dolphins Attack Humans?
Dolphin attacks on humans are sporadic, but they do happen. Dolphins are curious and playful animals, so a dolphin can approach and interact with humans without being aggressive.
However, not all dolphins show this kind of behavior. In rare instances, some dolphins have attacked humans. This can happen if the human does something to upset or threaten the dolphin, such as trying to touch or ride the dolphin.
Incidents of dolphin attacks on humans often involve children rather than adults because kids are more accessible for dolphins to overpower and hurt. However, these attacks may also be caused by a child’s lack of understanding of interacting with dolphins safely.
Do Dolphins Eat Humans?
Dolphins do not eat humans. However, a killer whale which is part of the dolphin family could eat a person if it wanted to, but neither species is interested in eating humans.
While the killer whale may be seen consuming fish, squid, and octopus, as well as larger animals such as sea lions, penguins, seals, walruses, and dolphins (yes, they consume dolphins), there appears to be no desire for human flesh.
Are Dolphins Friendly?
You can visit our other guide about are dolphins friendly to find out how nice these marine mammals can be to people in the wild and at a zoo.
Dolphin Dangerous & Aggressive Summary
You now know the answer to the question about are dolphins dangerous.
As you discovered in this guide, dolphins do not eat humans or attack people unless they feel threatened. Therefore, are dolphins aggressive or not depends on if these sea animals are being encroached upon by people in nature or in captivity.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.