Dolphins find unusual tactics to defeat octopuses
Dolphins find unusual tactics to defeat octopuses

Hunting can be quite risky for the hunter himself. A bear is dangerous to humans, a bull or a zebra to a lion, octopuses to dolphins. However, bottlenose bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), which were studied by scientists at the Australian Murdoch University, sometimes attacked various coastal octopuses, sometimes quite large. And to cope with a dangerous enemy, they used "ingenuity".

Dolphin anatomy is more adapted to fishing, making it difficult for them to handle semi-liquid cephalopods. Octopuses themselves are strong, intelligent and can be armed with a powerful beak. Their suckers can inflict severe injuries, and, without hands, it is extremely difficult to tear them off the body, because they do not weaken their grip even after death. There are cases when dolphins did not survive in such battles. However, Kate Sprogis and her colleagues describe how a population of bottlenose dolphins living in the sea near the Australian town of Banbury became active in hunting these dangerous animals.

In an article published by the journal Marine Mammal Science, the authors describe 45 events of bottlenose dolphin hunting for cephalopods that they noted between March 2007 and August 2013. As a rule, adult males decided to do this, using tactics uncharacteristic for dolphins. Having literally pushed the victim to the surface, they throw it up, pick it up and again throw it against the water, preventing it from submerging, as if playing with a ball.

As a result, the octopus dies. Without the support of water, in the air, his soft tissues are too vulnerable and heavy for his own musculature, the body is torn into pieces that are convenient for the dolphin to eat. The dolphin's short movements do not leave enough room for the victim to use their suckers.

However, even with this innovative tactic, bottlenose dolphins approach octopus hunting with great care. Scientists note that more often it unfolded in winter and spring, when the mating period of cephalopods continues. Having given life to their offspring, these animals noticeably weaken, becoming easier prey.

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