Wild

Dolphin’s genius fishing secret caught on camera

November 25th, 2020

People involved with marine biology have known for years that dolphins are an incredibly smart breed. They’ve been known to warn humans of impending danger from sharks, played with people in the ocean, and been trained for shows around the world. But it’s in their natural habitat where researchers have made some of the most phenomenal discoveries.

Searching for food

As you know, dolphins feed on fish. You might think they have an easy time finding prey. Bust just as all mammals, they have to devise ways to be successful when hunting. That’s where the discovery comes into play.

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Unsplash/Jonas Von Werne Source: Unsplash/Jonas Von Werne

Fishing method

Not too long ago, footage of dolphins using a unique fishing technique was shared with the world. And what people saw was unbelievable. With this method, they don’t catch just a few fish but hundreds upon hundreds of them all at once.

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Unsplash/Adam Berkecz Source: Unsplash/Adam Berkecz

A viral video

The video uploaded to social media was so fascinating that it didn’t take long for it to go viral. To date, it’s been viewed more than 7.4 million times. And when you see what dolphins do, you’ll be just as amazed as everyone else.

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Unsplash/Flavio Gasperini Source: Unsplash/Flavio Gasperini

It’s riveting

Dolphins discovered a way to round up fish. They use what’s called “mud rings.” This entails swimming fast in large circles while flapping their tails super hard. By doing this, their tails stir up mud lying on the bottom of the ocean floor.

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YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth Source: YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth

Completing the cycle

As a dolphin swims, it makes the circle smaller and smaller. At some point, there are mud barriers surrounding a pool of water. Ultimately, these rings create a natural net that captures fish. While trying to escape, the fish leap into the air where they’re caught in the dolphin’s mouth.

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YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth Source: YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth

Seeing it unfold

For people who never visit the ocean or see dolphins, the uploaded footage gives them a way to watch these beautiful creatures make mud rings. One aspect of this fishing method that makes it so awesome is that they put in little effort to end up with a massive amount of fish. Amazingly, dolphins are the only mammals that fish this way.

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YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth Source: YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth

A unique behavior

Having developed such a sophisticated method of fishing gives dolphins a distinct advantage over other mammals. Especially in waters where different species fight for the same food, the mud rings are lifesaving. So, how did it all start?

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YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth Source: YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth

Watching and learning

Experts believe that a single dolphin discovered how to make mud rings by accident. Seeing how effective it was, other dolphins began to follow suit. Now, they intentionally stir up mud so they can enjoy a feeding frenzy.

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YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth Source: YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth

Highly intelligent

But mud rings aren’t the only thing that biologists discovered. While studying dolphins off the coast of Florida, they found out something else that’s just as incredible. The bottlenose species pick up sea sponges and hold them in their mouths. That way, while scavenging, they don’t damage their noses.

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YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth Source: YouTube Screenshot/BBC Earth

Truly remarkable

But there’s something else that proves just how intelligent the dolphin is. Dolphins in Australia put conch shells in their mouths, followed by bringing them to the surface. After dumping the water out, they can then enjoy snacking on the small fish left inside.

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Unsplash/Javardh Source: Unsplash/Javardh

If you want to see the fascinating method of survival known as mud rings, click on the video below. Without question, it will leave you feeling awestruck. Seldom do people have the opportunity to witness something like this that happens in the wild. It’s well worth your time.

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Source: Shareably, YouTube

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