A tuna fish and dolphins swimming
Dolphins eat tuna fish

Do Dolphins Eat Tuna? Only If They Are Lucky!

Yes, dolphins eat tuna if they are lucky to have them available. Some dolphins dont get the chance to eat tuna as they live in water where no tuna is available. In this case, the dolphins will eat other fish, such as salmon, mullet, or mackerel.

Do dolphins swallow tuna whole?

Yes, dolphins swallow all food whole. If the case ever happened and the tuna was too big to eat, a dolphin would vigorously shake the tuna or hit it on the ocean floor to try and break it into bitesize pieces.

Recommended Read: Do Dolphins Chew Their Food?

Why do dolphins swallow fish whole?

Dolphins have evolved to eat quickly and to handle wriggling fish, they swallow the food whole, so they do not chew their food. To combat the digestive issues of consuming whole foods, they even have an extra stomach solely for grinding the food down once swallowed.

Benefit Of Tuna

Dolphins need food to stay healthy and live fulfilling lives. One of the foods that dolphins love to eat is tuna. Tuna has many good things in it for them.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Tuna is a fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Those fatty acids can help lower LDL cholesterol and omega-6 fatty acid that can accumulate in a dolphin’s heart’s arteries.

Vitamin D

Tuna is also loaded with vitamin D, which is essential for a dolphin’s health.


Dolphins need protein in their diet. Protein helps the body repair cells and make new ones. It is also essential for the growth and development of dolphins.

How do dolphins catch tuna?

Dolphins have many different hunting methods that they use to catch tuna fish. Whether a dolphin is in a pod or alone will depend on how they operate.

When in a pod, dolphins circle a gathering of fish and contain them into a smaller ball. Each dolphin will take turns diving under and swallowing the fish whole.

Another method is when a dolphin is alone, and it will follow a tuna fishing boat and feed on the tuna that getaway or is thrown overboard. 

Dolphins can even make ocean bed mud nets alone as another hunting method. The dolphin will swim fast in a circle, lift the waters bed’s muddy surface, and then catch the fish in their mouths as they try to jump for safety.

Other Foods

Where the dolphin lives will depend on what food they can eat. Below are some other foods a dolphin will eat if tuna is not around. 

  • Anchovies
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Gobies
  • Herring
  • Krill
  • Jellyfish
  • Mackeral
  • Mullet
  • Octopuses
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sawfish
  • Shrimp
  • Smelt
  • Squid

Sharing is a good thing to do!

Teresa Milne

Teresa is learning zoology and loves to share her knowledge through her articles. She is also a avid binge watcher of wild animal documentary's. Teresa has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster. She has also studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition.