Dolphins can be found in groups (pods) of 3 to 5 in all ocean biomes except frozen oceans and cold oceans. Dolphins spawn exclusively between y level 45 and the sea level of the world in Java Edition. 10% of dolphins spawn as babies in Bedrock Edition. They can jump out of the water while swimming, allowing them to leap over barriers. Dolphins can occasionally beach themselves if they are too close to shore. They will start taking damage soon after they leave the water, much like squids, and will flop around to get back into the water.
Dolphins can play with items floating on the water's surface, bouncing the item into the air like a ball. They may also follow players in water for a short time. Dolphins can lead players to the nearest shipwreck or underwater ruins if they are fed raw cod or salmon. However, players need to be quick when following the dolphin; otherwise, they may lose track of them.
When the player swims close to a dolphin, they will gain the effect Dolphin's Grace. The ability allows the player to swim faster than normal. The command to apply dolphin’s grace is:
/effect give <playername> minecraft:dolphins_grace.
This is only in Java Edition, in Bedrock Edition, dolphins will still make one swim fast, however, there is no status effect.
Dolphins will attack the player if the player attacks them, and other nearby dolphins will attack as well, similar to the behavior of wolves or Zombie Pigmen. However, they will give up the chase after a short time, or if the player gets out of their line of sight. The dolphin will immediately die if hit with a trident enchanted with any level of Impaling.
Dolphins have a chance to drop raw cod when killed.
- The dolphin's shape closely resembles the bottle-nosed dolphin.
- The fish that they drop comes from their intestines
- Despite being mammals and having lungs, dolphins will take damage and die if they are on land for too long. This makes sense, as in real life, their skin will dry out if a dolphin (or whale) is stranded for too long.
- Dolphins can drown if they don't go up to the water's surface every once in a while because dolphins have lungs, so they can't get air from the water. (Survives 2 minutes above water, 2 minutes underwater.)
- This mob was announced at MineCon Earth 2017, in a sneak-peek trailer for the update.
- Fans of the game have requested making dolphins rideable with a saddle, but this would cover up both their blowhole (what they breathe through) and the fin on the top of their body, so it would actually suffocate the dolphin.