Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dolphins Learned a New Fishing Technique

I tend to think that feeding strategies are somehow inherent in different species.   As an example, humpback whales use bubble netting bubble netting to corral their schools of fish to feed on, a well known technique that is unique to them and only those in certain areas.  How did they develop the technique?  Surely there was once a whale that saw that bubbles spooked their prey and eventually developed the trick of blowing bubbles in a column to trap them.
Bottlenosed dolphins frequently feed communally by scaring their prey fish into a tightening circle.  A single pod of bottlenosed dolphins has discovered a new technique which gives them a competitive edge and an entertaining way of "catching dinner on the fly".  They stir up clouds of debris from the shallow ocean bottom in a constricting circle.  The panicked fish leap out of the water and the dolphins catch them in the air.  Seaworld, eat your heart out.
As the site says, "Another awesome thing about this technique is that only one female in the pod can create this ring, and it's always anti-clockwise."  Leave it to an intelligent female to find an easier way to fix dinner!  Watch this dramatic video.

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