When you think of dolphins, you probably picture smart, playful, and curious creatures. What you may not consider as much is how they get their food. If you’ve visited marine parks like Sea World, you’ve likely watched them eat fish. But while captive dolphins are hand fed, wild dolphins are hunters that have to stay one step ahead of their prey in order to catch and eat it.
Take this group of bottlenose dolphins, for example. The footage below from BBC Earth’s “One Life” program shows one dolphin exhibiting some pretty strange behavior, but it’s actually all part of her scheme to nab some lunch.
Beating her tail down against the bottom of a shallow seabed, the dolphin swims around in a circle. Mud gets stirred up, forming a ring around the fish in the area, trapping them and acting as a makeshift net. As the ring grows smaller and smaller, it forces the fish to escape the only way they can: by jumping out, straight into the waiting dolphins’ mouths.
Watch as the dolphin tricks the fish with her mud “net,” feeding all the members of her group. They’re such intelligent creatures!
I knew dolphins were clever, but I had no idea that they got their meals like this! It just goes to show that animals are way smarter than many of us give them credit for.