Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dolphin Day- "Here's how to hunt, you idiots."

If you're a fish trying to hide from a hungry dolphin and you see a large conch shell, you may want to duck inside it. That would be a bad idea. Indopacific bottlenose dolphins have figured out that, if you get the fish in there and use the tip of your beak to keep it there, you can grab the whole shell, take it to the surface, and dump the contents into your mouth. Surprisingly (or perhaps not?), more dolphins seem to be catching on to the trick. These critters learn fast.


omegaman66 said...

We continually hear about such learned behavior in a number of species where they appear to have recently learned a new technique of getting food. Many examples monkeys, chimps, killer whales etc. They have had millions of years to learn these things and only just learned them! I wonder if some of these learnings are also periodically lost?

Matt Bille said...

Omega, that's a vary interesting question, and I don't think we know the answer.