What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common?

Sharing is Caring

Last updated on November 27th, 2023 at 02:41 pm

What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common

What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common? There are many things that are common in Sharks And Dolphins such as the marine environment, predatory nature, etc.

Sharks and dolphins are two of the most common predators in the water that spring to mind.

These amazing aquatic creatures are well-known for their quickness, agility, and special adaptations that have helped them survive and flourish in the world’s oceans.

Sharks and dolphins have some unexpected commonalities, despite their initial appearance of being very different from one another.

We will discuss “what do sharks and dolphins have in common,” how they are unrelated, how big they are in comparison, and answer some commonly asked questions about these amazing animals in this blog post.

A Swift Introduction

Before we embark on our exploration of commonalities, let’s briefly introduce our protagonists: sharks and dolphins.

Sharks – The Ocean’s Apex Predators

Sharks are frequently considered the top predators in the ocean because of their streamlined bodies and extremely keen teeth. For hundreds of millions of years of oceanic habitation, they have demonstrated unmatched evolutionary success.

Dolphins – The Energetic Acrobats

Conversely, dolphins are renowned for their acrobatic and playful behavior. These socially adept marine mammals captivate the hearts of viewers with their elegant leaps out of the sea.

What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common?

Sharks and dolphins, two of the ocean’s most iconic creatures, share some surprising similarities despite their distinct differences. Here is what sharks and dolphins have in common:

Marine Environment: Living in the ocean, sharks and dolphins are classified as marine animals.

Some common characteristics, such as streamlined bodies for fast swimming and specialized respiratory systems that enable them to take oxygen from water, have resulted from their shared habitat.

Predatory Nature: Carnivorous in nature, sharks and dolphins are predators. They are expert hunters who feed on a variety of fish and other aquatic life. They also have keen teeth.

Although their approaches to hunting may vary, they share a carnivorous diet.

Social Behavior: A lot of shark and dolphin species display some degree of social behavior, however not all of them are.

Dolphins are well recognized for their social pods, in which members collaborate to hunt and use sophisticated vocalizations for communication.

Certain shark species can form loose social groupings at specific periods of the year; one such species is the scalloped hammerhead shark. [What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common?]

Evolutive Features: Sharks and dolphins have developed unique adaptations to thrive in their aquatic habitats.

For instance, they both have strong tails for propulsion, streamlined bodies to cut down on drag, and physiological features that aid in keeping them buoyant in the water.

High Intelligence: Dolphins are well known for having a high IQ and being able to solve problems.

Sharks have been the subject of less research in this area, although, in certain investigations, they have shown evidence of sophisticated behavior and problem-solving abilities.

This implies that both groups are intelligent to the extent that their environments have allowed them to.

Table showing commonalities between sharks and dolphins:

Taxonomic classificationVertebratesVertebrates
Body shapeStreamlinedStreamlined
FinsDorsal fin, pectoral fins, tail finDorsal fin, pectoral fins, tail fin
TeethSharp teeth for huntingSharp teeth for hunting
Social behaviorSome species are social, while others are solitarySome species are social, while others are solitary
IntelligenceHighly intelligentHighly intelligent

See Also: Are Dolphins Friendly To Sharks? Dolphins vs. Sharks

What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common
What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common?

How Are Sharks And Dolphins Not Related?

Despite their apparent similarities—such as their streamlined bodies and oceanic habitat—dolphins and sharks are not closely related. They are not closely connected for the following main reasons:

Evolutionary History: On the evolutionary tree, sharks and dolphins are on completely different branches.

Sharks belong to the class Chondrichthyes of cartilaginous fish, which also contain skates and rays.

Their existence dates back hundreds of millions of years.

In contrast, dolphins belong to the Cetacean order of mammals, which also includes whales and porpoises.

About 50 million years ago, their predecessors, terrestrial animals, made a comeback to the water.

Skeletal Differences: Sharks’ skeletons are composed of cartilage, a lightweight, flexible tissue, whereas dolphins’ bones, like those of other mammals, are composed of a solid, hard substance.

Their distinct evolutionary trajectories are reflected in the notable differences in skeleton makeup. [What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common?]

Reproduction: Sharks reproduce either by oviparous (laying eggs) or viviparous (giving birth to live young), however, they do not breastfeed their young.

As mammals, dolphins give birth to live young and suckle them with their mother’s milk.

Their disparate evolutionary histories are evident in this basic divergence in reproductive tactics.

Breathing Mechanisms: Dolphins are air-breathing mammals with lungs that require surface time to breathe, whereas sharks use their gills to draw oxygen from the water.

Sharks are able to take oxygen from the water while swimming, but dolphins must frequently surface.

Internal Physiology: There are also notable differences between the internal physiologies of sharks and dolphins.

Since sharks are cold-blooded, indicating the temperature of their bodies is the same as the surrounding water, dolphins, being mammals, have warm-blooded circulatory systems. [What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common?]

See Also: Do Dolphins Kill More People Than Sharks? Shocking Revelation

Which Is Bigger: Shark Or Dolphin?

Sharks are generally bigger than dolphins.

The whale shark, which can reach lengths of 45 feet and weigh of 41,000 pounds, is the largest species of shark. The orca, sometimes referred to as the killer whale, is the largest dolphin species. It may reach lengths of 5.5 – 9.8 meters and weighs 5,500 kg1,2.

There is, nevertheless, some overlap in the two groups’ sizes. For instance, the dwarf lanternshark, the tiniest shark species, is about 6 inches long. Furthermore, some shark species, like the great white shark, are smaller than the orca, the largest species of dolphin.

Sharks, however, are larger on average than dolphins. Sharks have been evolving for a lot longer than dolphins, which explains why. Dolphins have only existed for approximately 50 million years, whereas sharks have existed for hundreds of millions of years.

Sharks have an advantage over other prey because of their larger size. Sharks are less likely to become prey themselves and can consume a greater range of species.

Dolphins have social behavior and intelligence over sharks, among other advantages. Dolphins are extremely intelligent creatures that have an edge when hunting or protecting themselves from predators since they are gregarious and live in social groups.

So, while sharks are generally bigger than dolphins, both groups are successful predators and have important roles in the marine ecosystem. [What Do Sharks And Dolphins Have In Common?]

See Also: Are Dolphins Smarter Than Sharks? The Genius of the Sea

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Dolphins Considered Fish?

No, dolphins do not belong in the fish family. Like humans, they are mammals. Like other mammals, dolphins give birth to live young, nurse the offspring with milk, and inhale air using their lungs.

Can Sharks And Dolphins Interbreed?

No, dolphins and sharks can’t reproduce together. Dolphins are mammals, but sharks are cartilaginous fish, and they belong to completely separate taxonomic groups. It is not conceivable for such different groupings to interbreed biologically.

Are Dolphins Smarter Than Sharks?

Most people believe that dolphins are smarter than sharks. Dolphins are renowned for their social behaviors, sophisticated communication, and problem-solving skills.

Although some research suggests that some shark species are intelligent and have the ability to solve problems, this has not been explored as much as dolphin intelligence.


Despite coming from quite different evolutionary histories, sharks and dolphins have many fascinating things in common, including a preference for aquatic environments, a predatory lifestyle, social behaviors, specialized adaptations, and occasionally even intellect.

These parallels demonstrate the amazing ways in which various species can adapt to comparable settings.

Sharks and dolphins, although not closely related, are both essential parts of marine ecosystems, with each species having a specific role to perform in the vast and enigmatic world under the waves.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top