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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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