How Dolphins Use Echolocation

To Hunt and Navigate

By Josie  July 3rd, 2023

Dolphins are among the most skilled echolocators in the animal kingdom.

Let's uncover how they use echolocation to survive:

Their echolocation abilities are so refined that they can detect objects smaller than a tennis ball from over 100 feet away!

Echolocation is the biological phenomenon by which certain animals emit sounds and then interpret the resulting echoes to navigate their surroundings.

What Is Echolocation?

Echolocation is essential for animals living in environments with low visibility environments, such as marine mammals living in dark or murky waters.

How Do They Use It?

Dolphins use echolocation for navigation, creating mental maps of their environments and detecting changes in underwater objects.

Dolphins have evolved specialized adaptations to enhance their echolocation abilities, including structures in their jaws and a fatty pad called the melon.

By using echolocation dolphins can detect nearby objects’ size, shape, and location, including potential prey.

Use In Hunting

1. Chasing down individual fish. 2. Driving schools of fish into shallow water. 3.  Using their tails to stun  prey.

Other Hunting Techniques


One of the biggest threats facing dolphins is sound pollution produced by various human activities.

When exposed to continuous noise from sources like boat engines or sonar systems, the dolphins’ echolocation signals become masked or distorted.

Noise pollution can have severe consequences on their feeding patterns, reproductive behavior, and overall well-being.

Swipe up for the full story!