Dolphins are ocean-dwelling mammals that are found all over the world. They prefer coastal waters where their food supply is often more plentiful. As social animals, they live in groups called pods which comprise around 30 individuals but some are larger. The pod works together to find food and fend off predators. Dolphins have sophisticated communication methods that we are still learning about. They are also highly intelligent – and utterly adorable!

Great Whites as Hunters

Great white sharks are apex predators who hunt seals, seal lions, and occasionally dolphins. They are large fish that can grow to up to eight feet in length. Great whites have evolved as ferocious hunters – they have speed, power, and many very sharp and serrated teeth. Because they do not chew, they tear the flesh from their prey and swallow it in chunks.

Their preferred habitat is temperate coastal waters where they come into contact with dolphins although they are also found in the open ocean.

In some parts of this video, it can be hard to tell who is who! The shark and dolphins have a similar torpedo shape and this particular shark is not that much bigger than the dolphins. But the shark is deeper in the water most of the time and there are occasions where you can see the prominent dorsal fin break the water.

The classic great white hunting method is to sneak, unseen, beneath the unsuspecting prey and then use their explosive speed to ‘pounce’ from below. The stricken animal is shocked and does not know what has hit them just before they are killed with a powerful bite. In this footage, we can see that the shark does not have an opportunity to do that. There is no element of surprise. The dolphins know exactly where the shark is at all times!

Great White Shark
Great white sharks are apex predators who hunt seals, seal lions, and occasionally dolphins

Tomas Kotouc/

Dolphins and Great White Sharks

Dolphins have very few predators apart from humans. It is only orcas and great white sharks that consider dolphins to be food. Also, sharks and orcas will usually only take on a young calf dolphin rather than an adult.

If you watch this vid to the end, you will be able to make out what has attracted the great white shark. There are a few calves in this pod that would be suitable targets for the shark. However, by using their superb communication skills, the pod works as a team and herds the shark away from the target. Even a great white would not take on so many dolphins and knows when it is beaten!

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