If Dolphins Are Swimming Nearby, Does That Mean Sharks Aren't?

Do not anticipate these dolphins to safeguard you from sharks.

Credit: Shutterstock

It’s a typical piece of browsing knowledge that where dolphins swim, there are never ever sharks. However for ocean-goers who bask in a pod of dolphins swimming by, shark specialists have problem.

” This is a misconception,” Andrew Nosal, a shark professional at the University of San Diego, informed Live Science in an e-mail.

And this misconception could not be further from the fact, Stephen Kajiura, a shark professional at Florida Atlantic University, stated. “If anything, it’s the opposite,” he informed Live Science, “If you see dolphins, typically, there may be sharks because exact same location.” [Why Do Sharks and Whales Swim So Differently?]

That’s due to the fact that sharks and dolphins— both of whom are predators– go to the exact same areas to hunt.

The misconception originates from the incorrect idea that dolphins are the natural opponents of sharks, which sharks will do anything to prevent them. There’s a kernel of fact therein. While dolphins and sharks typically swim side by side “minding their own service,” dolphins sometimes annoy sharks when they feel threatened, Kajiura stated. These more aggressive dolphins will ram sharks with their noses, or slam into them with the entire force of their bodies. Sharks in some cases even swim far from encounters bruised and damaged. ( Whale whales, the biggest member of the dolphin household, are likewise understood to hunt sharks)

Dolphin-shark face-offs are “more the exception than the standard,” Kajiura stated. Still, pop-culture got onto the image of the shark-fighting dolphin. The popular tv series “Flipper,” about 2 young boys and their animal dolphin, was specifically guilty of perpetuating the misconception that dolphins frighten sharks, Nosal stated. The program illustrated Flipper increasingly going after sharks far from his precious owners.

Regrettably for web surfers and swimmers, Flipper isn’t a precise representation of normal dolphin habits. However if you’re worried about sharks, there are guidelines you can follow to reduce your danger of coming across among these animals.

Initially, prevent swimming at dawn and sundown, when exposure is lower. At these times, it’s a lot more tough for sharks to identify a swimmer from a delicious fish, Kajiura stated. Prevent swimming where sharks like to hang out– around drop-offs (an undersea slope or cliff) and kelp beds, big schools of fish or fishing boats, he included. Lastly, constantly swim with others and attempt to regular beaches with a lifeguard on responsibility, Nosal stated.

Most notably, swimmers ought to keep in mind that although the chances of getting assaulted by a shark are “vanishingly little” (sharks trigger simply one death a year in the United States, usually), the ocean is still shark area

” Swimmers require to have the best mindset about swimming in the ocean,” Nosal stated, “There’s no such thing as ‘shark plagued waters.’ The sharks reside in the ocean. That is their house.”

Initially released on Live Science