Dolphin vs Shark: Difference and Comparison

Dolphin & Shark belongs to the same category of marine animals. They both live under the sea, breathe under the sea, eat under the sea & without water; they won’t be able to survive. They both eat, breathe & live under the same sea, they have the weight, but still, they are different in many terms.

Despite belonging to the same place, it still has a lot of differences. They both have different characteristics, which make them unique in nature. They may be the worse enemies of each other, but they require each other too in order to maintain the marine life balanced.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dolphins are mammals with lungs and warm blood; sharks are cold-blooded fish with gills.
  2. Dolphins have horizontal tail fins; sharks have vertical tail fins.
  3. Dolphins exhibit intelligent, social behavior; sharks are solitary predators.

Dolphin vs Shark

A dolphin is a warm-blooded mammal that gives birth to live young and nurse them. They are born with hair, breathe air, have strong snouts that they use as a weapon, and are more intelligent. Sharks are cold-blooded fish that have scales and gills to remove oxygen from the environment. They are larger.

Dolphin vs Shark

Comparison Table

Terms of comparisonDolphinsSharks
BreathingDolphins are considered mammals like us humans & animals. They breathe through air & are warm-blooded creatures.

On the other hand, sharks are fishes, which means they have gills to breathe under the sea and are cold-blooded creatures.
Giving BirthSince Dolphins are mammals, they give birth & nurse the young ones just any other animal.Sharks come under the category of fishes, which means they lay eggs to produce young ones.
Body StructureDolphins have a wide tale that is horizontal in shape. That’s why they flap their tales in an up-down motion. The shape of their tale helps in changing the directions swiftly. On the other hand, Sharks have a wide tail that is vertical in shape, which enables them to move their tail side by side. Because of this, sharks can’t really change directions swiftly.
Combating PowerDolphins are considered very social & because of that, they travel in groups, also known as pods. Staying in groups makes them stronger from any danger. Also, they have long snouts, which they use in combat. They have horizontal tails, which makes them agile, another plus point for combat. While being the same size as Dolphins, Sharks are not very agile because of the vertical shape of their tail. However, they can be very fast in one direction & have a bigger mouth with a stronger grasp.
Sharks are predators who always travel alone.
Behaviour PatternDolphins are very intelligent & love to stay in the group, also known as Pods.
They are friendly in nature & only attack when any danger or aggressive environment is sensed.
Sharks are termed predators, are very deadly attacking creatures.
They travel alone.
Not very agile, but they are very powerful in terms of impact.
They possess a stronger while attacking.
HabitatsDolphins travel in their pods n stay near the surface because every now then,, they have to come out to breathe.Sharks have gills to easily breathe in the water and stay deep only surface when any prey is seen.

What are Dolphins?

Dolphins, aquatic mammal, is known for their intelligence & friendly behavior, especially with humans. They stay by the water’s surface since they need to come out every now & then to breathe air.

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The most famous among the dolphins are the bottlenose dolphins, famous for “its build in smile” mouths.

Though dolphins are considered friendly, harmless & peaceful species, they have these fantastic combatting skills for the enemy or any aggressive force. Traveling in pods makes them powerful already.

Their agility because of the horizontal tail, their intelligence & their strong power add to it.


What are Sharks?

Sharks are known for their sharp teeth, their powerful grip on their prey & their ruthlessness while prey for their food. Their attacks are always very powerful because of their fantastic eyesight, enabling them to see at night.

Their tougher grey skin & roughened toothlike scales. Many sharks are given their names according to the nature & environment they are living in, like Blue Shark & The Great White Shark.

Averagely, Sharks grow up to 16m to 18m, but the largest shark among them is the deal is Great White Shark, which is around 20m or 6ft long. It is known to be the deadliest, which attacks all kinds of big fishes & aqua mammals like seagulls, whales, smaller fishes & dolphins, sea turtles, etc.


Main Differences Between Dolphin and Shark

  1. Sharks & Dolphins, when in the sea, looks the same because their fins, shape & size are the same, but when looking closely, Sharks have a vertical tail, which helps to move side by side, but Dolphins have a horizontal tail, which helps them move in any direction. Sharks have restricted movements because of their fins, but Dolphins are agile because of their fins.
  2. Though Sharks are known to be the deadliest creatures of the sea, dangerous but when threatened, Dolphins attack the pod (since they travel in a group), even the sharks are scared of Dolphins since they can attack through their stouts, which can be very deadly.
  3. Dolphins are very social, as they travel in groups also known as Pods, which also keeps them safe during the time of danger. Sharks, on the hand, like to stay alone, a shark is mostly spotted alone or only if there is a lot to prey on.
  4. Dolphins are aquatic mammals & they breathe air, which is why they stay by the surface of find, so they can come out of water to breathe now & then. Sharks have gills on both sides of their necks, which helps in breathing deep under the sea where they stay.
Difference Between Dolphin and Shark

Last Updated : 19 July, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Dolphin vs Shark: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article provides valuable insights into the differences between dolphins and sharks, including their behavioral patterns, habitats, and physical characteristics. It’s important to understand these differences to appreciate their roles in marine ecosystems.

    • I agree. Understanding the nuances of these marine animals contributes to our knowledge about marine life and conservation efforts.

  2. The detailed information about the habitats and habits of dolphins and sharks is enlightening. It illustrates how these marine animals have adapted to their surroundings in distinct ways.

  3. The article eloquently describes how dolphins are intelligent, social creatures, while sharks are solitary predators. This contrast in behavior is pivotal in understanding their roles within the marine environment.

    • Well said. It’s remarkable how the behavioral patterns of these animals contribute to the marine ecosystem’s balance.

  4. The comparison table effectively outlines the distinct features of dolphins and sharks, providing a clear understanding of their differences in breathing, reproduction, body structure, combatting power, and behavior patterns.

    • Yes, it’s fascinating to learn how these differences impact the lifestyles and survival strategies of dolphins and sharks.

    • Absolutely, the details provided in the comparison table are educational and beneficial for those interested in marine biology.

  5. The section on ‘What are Dolphins?’ and ‘What are Sharks?’ provides comprehensive insights into the unique characteristics and behaviors of these animals. It’s a well-rounded portrayal of their distinct traits.

  6. The article presents a comprehensive overview of the distinct characteristics, habitats, and behaviors of dolphins and sharks, providing valuable knowledge for anyone interested in marine biology.

  7. The article effectively conveys the contrasting features of dolphins and sharks, shedding light on their respective traits and behaviors.

  8. The detailed descriptions of dolphins and sharks offer a captivating glimpse into the diverse nature of marine life. This article enhances our understanding of these fascinating creatures.

  9. The section highlighting the differences in breathing, giving birth, body structure, combatting power, and behavior between dolphins and sharks is enlightening and educational.

  10. The detailed comparison of dolphins and sharks is essential for comprehending the ecological roles of these marine animals. The information about their breathing, giving birth, and body structure is particularly insightful.


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