Dolphins can spawn in pods of up to 5 within any ocean biome, unless it is cold enough that the water turns into ice. 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 dolphins 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 drop raw cod when killed.
- The dolphin's shape closely resembles the bottle-nosed dolphin.
- 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 do not go up to the water's surface every once in a while because dolphins have lungs, so they cannot 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.