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Smart Facts: Dolphins Now Have a Strange Fish-Catching Trick Using Shells They Just Learned From Friends

By CaseQ. , Jun 28, 2020 10:31 PM EDT

Mammals are considered to be the smartest animal groups on Earth. But it shouldn't be surprising when there are some animals that are said to be smarter than humans. An example would be dolphins.

Now, these mammals are considered to be very good at learning. But the only difference is that they are easily trained in captivity and can perform complex tricks and tasks when given the right incentives according to Tech Quila.

Another fun fact about dolphins is that their brain size can be able to facilitate intelligent behavior in their daily activities. Their learning abilities are a tell-tale sign of a complex social structure present in the way dolphins interact with each other as researchers have observed dolphins utilizing complex hunting solutions in groups.

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Dolphins Scoop Their Dinner

According to an aricle from Finance Broker, Cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and pompoms) are known to use clever strategies to round meals.

"Bellows whales outside Alaska sometimes use their fins and circular bubble nets to catch fish. In Shark Bay, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins use sea sponges to protect their beaks as they take root for food by the sea, a strategy that animals learn from their mothers." the report indicated.

In a recent observation, sceintists have now discovered that dolphins after herding their prey can catch their meal using the shells of giant snails at Shark Bay in Western Autsralia.

Afterwards, the dolphins pick up the shells with some fish left inside, bring them to the surface and shake them so that the fish falls immediately right to their mouths. This process is called shelling.

Since time immemorial, mankind has often innovated new ways in order to catch their meals by inventing tools. For our early ancestors, it was through the spear and a bow and arrow. And as they say, the rest is history.

Dolphins as Smart as Humans: How They Learn from their Peers

In the case of dolphins, this kind of behaviour requires brains that are capable of learning the complex intricacies involved in such actions. This recent discovery marks the first time that dolphins are capable of learning from their own kind.

"Only by spending time with each other (dolphins) are they more likely to transmit those behaviors," says Wild who is a graduate student at the University of Leeds. Researchers estimate that 57 percent of dolphins that shell learned the skill through social transmission, rather than on their own.

Wild further adds that it is surprising since dolphins and other toothed whales follow what their mothers teach them as to learn how to forage.

"Dolphins are smart: they look at each other and see what others do," explained Janet Mann, a biologist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., who also studies the behavior of dolphins in Shark Bay.

The intensive observational records of the shark bay area indicate that the big die-off due to the heatwave of 2011 kick-started the wider adoption of shelling in dolphins.

Read Also: Dolphins And Crocodiles Have Similar Skulls Because Ancestors Fed On Similar Prey

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