Sharks are often viewed as one of the ocean’s top apex predators, but despite this rather prestigious classification, there’s one marine animal that most sharks prefer to avoid crossing paths with entirely: the bottlenose dolphin.
Sure, most people may view the bottlenose dolphin as a humble and gentle marine mammal, but it’s a widely known fact that these creatures can be aggressive when they want to be – especially when congregating in large numbers, often called a pod. Sharks are vaguely aware of this, as even these ocean-dwelling predators can fall victim to a pod of dolphins’ foul behavior when they’re swimming around by their lonesome.
Sharks can be easily outmaneuvered by dolphins in a one-on-one fight, particularly because of the characteristics surrounding their physical build. A dolphin’s vertically-oriented rear fin coupled with its incredible flexibility provides it with heightened mobility. Comparatively, sharks have horizontally-oriented rear fins, and aren’t nearly as flexible, which puts them at a severe disadvantage when facing a pod of dolphins.
Another advantage that the bottlenose dolphin has over the shark is its snout, which is stout enough to be used as a battering ram in the event that a pod of dolphins needs to protect itself from a shark. Dolphins can use their snout to land a well-placed hit on a shark’s belly to cause internal damage, or its gills to prevent it from breathing entirely. As you might come to expect, this can be fatal for the shark.
Many sharks are fortunate enough to get away by simply fleeing from the fight when they realize they’re in danger, but if the shark is bold enough to stand its ground, then the dolphins just might prove why they’re the dominant creatures of the sea.