Do Dolphins Eat Seals? Do Orcas Eat Seals?

Dolphins are known to consume a large quantity of food and they may eat around 15-30 pounds (6.8-13.5 kg) of food each day. They are carnivorous animals, so they eat different types of fish and marine animals, but do they eat seals, who are also known as sea lions? Let us find out the answer to these questions and also allow us to take you through a few other related questions.

Do Dolphins Eat Seals?

As far as we are aware, dolphins are not known to eat seals as they generally prefer to eat smaller fish and squid. Among fish, some of the primary prey are mackerel, herring, codfish, and the like. They also prey on sharks, whales, and even baby dolphins. There are no species of dolphins that regularly eat seals as typically they are not part of their diet. But there are always some exceptions and it might be possible in some rare cases. Under some unusual circumstances, a dolphin may attack a seal and eat it.

Interesting Fact: Dolphins are wild and dangerous creatures, they sometimes kill just for the sake of it. They kill even when they are not actively looking for prey.

Also, all dolphins are not large enough to consume giant animals like seals and smaller dolphins of some species mainly prey on squid and other crustaceans. The type of food that a dolphin eats depends on factors like its species as well as the availability of different varieties of prey, i.e., the region (habitat) that a dolphin lives affects its lifestyle and food habit.

Do Orcas Eat Seals?

Orcas are one of the largest species of dolphins, and they prey on pinnipeds including seals. Orcas are one of the biggest predators of seals, and the Pack ice orcas from Antarctic waters prey exclusively on seals. Also, the Bigg’s orca of the western North Pacific prey on many marine mammals, including seals as well as cetaceans.

dolphins in a group

Also Read: Do Dolphins Eat Crabs?

Do Bottlenose Dolphins Eat Seals?

Bottlenose dolphins are unique creatures with specific behavioral patterns and diet requirements. They do not chew with their teeth to grind their food, rather they move vigorously and even take the assistance of the sea floor to break down their food for easier consumption.

They do not eat seals but prefer eating squid, octopuses, and other crustaceans. Bottlenose dolphins are mostly found in tropical and temperate oceans, and the prey they feed on depends on their environmental conditions as well as the local weather. To explain, bottlenose dolphins prefer to eat salmon in summer, but in winter they shift to herring and mackerel as finding salmon is difficult in such conditions. Mullet and catfish are some other popular choices of prey for dolphins living in tropical regions.

Do Seals Get Along With Dolphins? (Dolphins Vs Seals)

There have been some recorded instances that dolphins and seals get along well together. But this can be only possible when they are both raised together and are of the same age. In addition to that, proper training by professionals is needed too. Having said that, most dolphins act quite hostile towards seals and may even prey on them in some situations.

We should also remember that dolphins and seals often compete for fish which makes a friendship between them very unlikely. So, they won’t get along well in most cases but there can be always some exceptions to everything.

Do Dolphins Eat Baby Seals?

Dolphins, like humpback whales, sometimes utilize their herding maneuvers in their hunt for fish. They hunt in groups which are called “Pods.” Other hunting methods include hitting the prey with their bodies to startle them and make for an easy kill. The prey of the dolphins depends on things like the environment they live in, local weather and habitat, and the availability of other food options.

Also Read: Are Oarfish Dangerous?

dolphin jumping out of water
Photo by Pagie page on Unsplash

Some dolphin species eat quite indiscriminately and they feed on whatever food is available to them. Even though the majority of dolphin species (especially smaller ones) prefer fishes, squid, octopuses, and other crustaceans it does not mean they won’t eat baby seals. So, dolphins may eat seals even though they are not preferred prey, under special circumstances. In fact, Baby seals are attacked by many aquatic creatures like sharks, whales, sea otters, penguins, and sometimes dolphins.

When a large dolphin is hungry, it preys on various animals, including sea turtles, sea lions, whales, and even other dolphins. It may be needless to say that some dolphins eat their own babies.

What Do Dolphins Do To Baby Seals?

Dolphins are known to be bullies who hunt and kill the babies of many creatures including their own babies (not always) as they are easy prey. So, naturally, they would hunt baby seals too as they are quite vulnerable and can make an excellent food option for them. When they are violent toward the babies of their own species, you can imagine how they can act toward baby seals. As dolphins are carnivores, they have to eat meat to survive, so they tend to go after smaller animals, and in that process, baby seals can become their victims too.

What Other Animals Eat Seals?

As seals are aquatic animals, they are preyed upon by other bigger animals that live in or around water. Some of them include sharks, whales, and polar bears. Seals play an important role in the ecosystem, like any other animals, but even humans are one of the biggest predators of them. People also hunt seals for their meat and skin.

Do Dolphins Eat Walrus?

Generally, dolphins do not eat walruses, as they are much larger in size than dolphins and are also considered to be semi-aquatic mammals (they spend part of their time on land and part of their time in the water). Moreover, walruses live in colder Arctic waters, while most species of dolphins live in warmer waters. So, even the chances of their encounter are not very common. and only in rare cases, a dolphin may attack and eat a walrus.

Talking about walrus, primarily prey on shellfish and other marine life such as fish and squid, but they are not a part of the typical diet of dolphins.

Wrapping Up:

Both dolphins and seals are wild animals who compete for the same food and resources. The existence of this sense of competition between them is natural considering all these elements. As dolphins are larger than seals and can easily assert their dominance over them, injuring or killing them is very much possible in the process, although it is unusual. Dolphins are often viewed as a threat to most marine creatures that are smaller than them.

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