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Is it unusual to see 30 dolphins swimming together just offshore?

In this Jan. 6, 2013 photo provided by Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, a pod of dolphins swims off the coast of Dana Point, Calif. Captain Dave Anderson said hundreds of dolphins were seen churning up the waters off the California coast about 60 miles south of Los Angeles. AP Photo/Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari.

Q. Around the end of October 2012 my husband and I saw at least 30 dolphins swimming near the beach when we were taking a walking back from Bird Island toward Sunset Beach. I have never seen more than about seven at one time. Is it unusual to see so many that close to the beach at one time? They were all swimming west toward Bird Island.

A. “Given the time of year and dolphin feeding behavior, seeing numerous dolphins off a North Carolina beach is not unusual,” said Jennifer Metzler-Fiorino, education curator at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. “Dolphins are highly social animals, and like so many marine animals, follow their food. A pod of dolphins can vary in size depending on many variables, from age and gender to depth and openness of the water. Pods can come together to form larger temporary groups for protection, mating and hunting. The dolphins seen off Sunset Beach were likely following their food – spot and croaker, which are soniferous (sound-producing) fish. The dolphins follow and hunt them using echolocation.”


Do dolphins ever swim up the Cape Fear River? If so, how far upriver have they been spotted?

Are there sharks in coastal Carolina’s waters?

User-contributed question by:
Allison Garner

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One Response to “ Is it unusual to see 30 dolphins swimming together just offshore?”

  1. On January 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm E.B. Evans wrote:

    You may enjoy this video of hundreds of Dolphins swimming together.

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