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What time of day are dolphins most active?


What we know about the behaviour of dolphins is limited, but we do know that they don’t follow a strict sleep-wake cycle. In fact, it’s been said that dolphins can sleep for as little as three minutes at a time and for an hour or more at once! They can also remain still for two to three hours before needing to move again.

Thankfully, even though dolphin sleeping habits aren’t that well understood, we do know when they’re most likely to be awake. So in this article, we’re going to find out what time of day dolphins are most active.

What time of day are dolphins most active?

Dolphins can be awake throughout a 24-hour day, but are most active during daylight hours and their activity declines at night. They are most active in the morning, and then their levels of activity drop off throughout the day until it reaches their lowest point at night.

This may seem counterintuitive because you might expect that dolphins would be more active when it’s dark out, but there are good reasons why this isn’t true. Dolphins, as with humans and other animals who live near water sources such as rivers or lakes, have to contend with less light underwater than on land, which impacts their visibility.

Dolphins have a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle

Dolphins have a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, but they do not follow a strict pattern. They sleep in shallow waters to prevent being stranded by tides or currents. Dolphins are most active during the day, with their activity declining at night. Even though they don’t have a standard sleep cycle as we do, dolphins do prefer to hunt for food early in the morning, so this time is your best chance to spot them.

Dolphins are also vulnerable to predators while they sleep, so they will avoid areas where they have been attacked while sleeping. Dolphins are aware of the dangers of shallow waters and will occasionally sleep in deeper waters if necessary.

It’s best to catch dolphins in the morning

Dolphins are most active in the morning and evening. They tend to be less active at night, especially if it’s cloudy or rainy out. Dolphins prefer to hunt and play when the tide is low (when there’s less water). They’ll be less active if there’s more water around them.

Dolphins become more alert when it rains or storms because they have an extra layer of protection from predators like sharks and killer whales who would otherwise hunt them down if they weren’t so careful about protecting themselves from the elements!

So, the best time to go dolphin watching is during the morning as you’ll have good visibility and dolphins are active during this period. Good weather is also the ideal condition for dolphin spotting, so you’re looking for a sunny day to give yourself the best chance of watching dolphins in the wild.


It’s clear that dolphins are active throughout the day, with their activity peaking in the morning and evening hours. This means that if you want to catch them, then you should plan your trip accordingly!

If you’re looking to go on a dolphin spotting expedition, or if you’d like to know more about dolphin watching trips in New Quay, contact us today at Seamor.

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