Watch a Dolphin Pod Encircle a Great White Shark

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 19, 2023
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Key Points:

  • Dolphins are highly intelligent creatures. Their only real predators are great white sharks, orcas, and humans.
  • Great whites have evolved as ferocious hunters, enabled by speed, power, and very sharp and serrated teeth to prey on animals like dolphins, seals, and sea lions.
  • Watch footage below of a pod of dolphins working together to maneuver a great white shark away from their young.

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!

Watch the Amazing Video Below:

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.

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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.

Great White Shark

Great white sharks

are apex predators who hunt seals, seal lions, and occasionally dolphins

©Tomas Kotouc/

The classic great white hunting method is to sneak, unseen, beneath the unsuspecting prey and then use its explosive speed to ‘pounce’ from below. The stricken animal is shocked and does not know what has hit it just before it is 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!

Dolphins vs. 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!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sergey Uryadnikov/

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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