Do Dolphins Have Kidney? Unveiling Their Unique Renal System

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do dolphins have kidney

Hello dear readers. Welcome to another interesting blog. Kidneys are an essential part of human beings.

As dolphin enthusiasts, sometimes it comes to our mind that do dolphins have kidney like ours.

Here, in this article, I will answer do dolphins really have kidneys, do they work like humans, and what are functions they perform for dolphins. So, stay with me.

Do Dolphins Have Kidneys?

Yes, just like other mammals, including humans, dolphins too have kidneys.

A dolphin’s kidneys are big and made up of many lobes called “renculi” that are tightly spaced and joined.

Although other marine species have been shown to possess renculi in similar forms, the reason behind this structure’s presence is still unknown.

The existence of these lobate kidneys may be a result of the dolphins’ adaption to an aquatic lifestyle.

Dolphins live in the sea, but they still need to consume their water because the water of the sea is too salty to drink. Eating fish provides dolphins with the majority of the freshwater they require.

Desalinating water is not a highly specialized function of the kidneys. Rather, the majority of the function is performed by the dolphin’s skin, which functions as an osmotic membrane that lets only water—and not salt—enter its system.

The kidneys of dolphins are not completely useless, either; they have unique features that might help with filtration when diving. [Do Dolphins Have Kidney?]

See Also: Do Dolphins Have Umbilical Cords? Do Dolphins Have Belly Buttons?

Why Do Dolphins Have Kidneys?

Like all other mammals, dolphins have kidneys to filter waste materials from their blood and generate urine. Dolphin kidneys, however, have some unique adaptations to help them survive in their oceanic habitat.

The high salinity of saltwater is one of the biggest problems dolphins have. Dolphins would eventually become dehydrated if they drank seawater.

They would also lose more water than they would get as there is salt water everywhere in the sea. By obtaining the majority of their water from the fish they eat, dolphins can bypass this issue.

They still must be able to eliminate the extra salt from their systems, though.

They are capable of doing this because dolphin kidneys concentrate urine to a far greater extent than human kidneys.

This is because the kidney’s medulla—the area in responsible for concentrating urine—is longer and more sophisticated in dolphin kidneys.

do dolphins have kidneys
Source: wikimedia

How Many Kidneys Do Dolphins Have?

Like most mammals, dolphins generally have two kidneys.

In vertebrates, having two kidneys is the usual This provides extra care in the case that one kidney is damaged or fails.

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Dolphin Kidney Size

The size of a dolphin’s kidney varies by species.

Smaller species, like bottlenose dolphins, have proportionally smaller kidneys, whereas larger species, such as killer whales, have larger kidneys.

A dolphin’s kidney size varies according to its body size and energy requirements.

Location of Dolphin Kidneys

The kidneys of dolphins are located in the abdominal cavity, directly beneath the ribs. They are situated similarly to the kidneys in humans.

The dolphin’s body provides excellent protection for kidneys, keeping them safe from harm and outside influences.

Do Dolphins Pee and Poop?

It’s true that dolphins expel waste, but they do so in a somewhat different way than do us.

Dolphins have unique openings next to their genital slit to eliminate pee and poop.

They release waste as a liquid, which is sometimes called “whale pee” in the case of dolphins. This liquid waste is discharged into the water and consists of both urine and feces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Dolphins Have Kidney Stones?

Yes, kidney stones can occur in dolphins, just like in people and a variety of other animals. Dolphins may develop kidney stones due to a variety of causes, such as dietary intake, heredity, and environmental factors.

Do Dolphins Have Kidney Failure?

Like any other mammal, dolphins can develop kidney failure. Age, illness, trauma, and other causes can all lead to this problem. It can have a serious negative effect on a dolphin’s general health and need medical attention.

Do Dolphins Have Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease can indeed affect dolphins. Infections, hereditary variables, or other medical conditions may be the cause of these disorders. To identify and treat renal problems in dolphins, appropriate veterinarian care and observation are necessary.


Today I have discussed an important physiological issue of dolphins – do dolphins have kidneys? To nutshell we can say, that dolphins have 2 kidneys with numerous lobes.

The kidneys of dolphins primarily filter out excessive salt and keep safe them from dehydration.

I hope you got a clear answer. If so, please comment below and go through my other blogs.

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