Why do dolphins always swim in front of ships?

They seem to do it quite a bit but i have no idea why, any ideas?



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like many have said before me dolphins sometimes swim in the wakes of ships as it is more dynamic and makes swimming easier for them. The other reasons are not so fluffy, often dolphins swim in front of ships as a defense mechanism, it is often the adult dolphins who swim in front of ships to "distract" them from the pregnant females or calves who they are trying to protect. this can cause them to become fatigued and can result in reduced feeding and loss of calves. Eco tourism is not always what it appears.


They swim in front of the ship because of the bow of the boat pushing water in front of it kind of like a surfer riding the wave before the crest. The wake is at the back of the ship and the only thing that rides that are wave runners and jet skis.


When dolphins chased our ship I noticed that our kitchen created lots of organic waste (bread, vegetables, etc.), this attracted many species of fish to the surface and in the wake of the ship. I thought that dolphins hunt opportunistically around ships. Same goes for seagulls - they also hang around ships - they not only try to snach scraps of food but also prey on feeding fish.

Ship-generated waves also can make fish more vulnerable to predation especially on the surface.


Cal King's answer is right, but so are the others' that say dolphins do it for fun. I've been body-surfing with dolphins enough to know that they enjoy wave riding for its own sake (and, no, Cal King, they aren't using the waves to assist in feeding, as their in-shore prey tend to stay out of the surf zone). I've also been on boats that attracted dolphins to come ride the bow-wake, then watched as they left and went back to where they started before we came along.


They treat boats as whales. They like to ride the wake of the whales. Doing so saves them energy. They can swim faster with less effort than if they swim on their own. For a long time scientists were puzzled by the dolphins' behavior since boats and ships are recent inventions. Then they discovered dolphins swiming just in front of whales. Since the baleen whales only feed on plankton or small fish, they are no danger to the dolphins. You won't see dolphins riding the wake of orcas, or killer whales. :)


because they're the guardian angles of the ocean ;)


Becaue the boat makes the water ripple and it creates waves;

and dolphins like riding in them.

I love the bit in titanic where the dolphins swim infront of the boat x


The boats create large waves, and they enjoy riding them.