Bottlenose Dolphins off the coast of Florida utilize a unique hunting technique. One dolphin stirs up the seabed in a tightening circle around a shoal of fish, causing the fish to panic and jump straight into the mouths of the other members of the pod.
Fin-tastic news! Mexico City Congress has now passed a bill under the Protection of Animals law making it illegal to use marine mammals for commercial use! This means that all cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) located within Mexico City will now no longer have to participate in shows, swim programs, therapy, or trainer for a day interactions. All existing facilities will be allotted six months to relocate the animals to a seaside sanctuary, where they will not interact with the public or preform. Unfortunately, this bill currently only applies to Mexico City, but it is a huge step in the right direction, and with continued activism we can only hope that others will follow in their example.
Dolphin sightings have been off the charts with fantastic ocean conditions lately. From super active pods of offshore bottlenose dolphin, to huge megapods (a many as 2,000 individuals!) of common dolphin, these animals have been thrilling passengers and crew alike.
Naturalist Craig DeWitt captured some underwater footage of bottlenose dolphins bowriding, and drone pilot Domenic Biagini got some beautiful aerial footage of a large common dolphin pod!
Bottlenose dolphins living on the west coast of Australia stunned the scientific world by learning how to use tools. Covering an area of 10,000 sq km, “Shark Bay” is one of the most diverse and pristine shallow-water bays on the planet. Protected from the open ocean, these sheltered waters make a perfect nursery for more than 3 000 dolphins.
Using Shark Bay’s shallow waters, the dolphin population developed a unique hunting technique. These dolphins use the so-called hydroplaning technique to catch their prey. As the dolphins swim fast, the water covers their body and allows them to swim through waters, which would normally be too shallow and thus lead to standing. They further stress fish out by not only pushing onto the beach, but also tail slapping. As result, the stressed out fish becomes easy to prey on.
Scientists found out that this unique hunting strategy is, unlike what their first thought, nothing innate, but rather a learned tool, which adults kept teaching hydroplaning their young over generations.
Did you know? Strand feeding is a rarely observed hunting technique, which is also being used by bottlenose dolphins living in the southeastern United States.