Dolphins doing donuts on the front lawn
January 25, 2010 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Dolphins are so smart that they can convince fish to leap out of the water and into their mouths. (slyt)
posted by ardgedee (50 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, at least that one group of dolphins. We'd better wipe them out before they take over.

(Thanks for the post!)
posted by languagehat at 12:13 PM on January 25, 2010


they look really happy
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:16 PM on January 25, 2010


Wow.

they look really happy

That seems unlikely, after all they are being che....oh. You mean the dolphins.
posted by DU at 12:18 PM on January 25, 2010


Thsi video has two things I really like:
1 -Dolphins
2- David Attenborough

awesome.
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:19 PM on January 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


That's so cool. Between them and the Humboldt squid, we're out of luck.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 12:20 PM on January 25, 2010


My cat wants to know if the dolphins can teach fish to jump into his mouth.
posted by grounded at 12:21 PM on January 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Dolphins Evolve Opposable Thumbs
posted by brundlefly at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2010


Taken from: Life.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2010


amazing.

related - Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.
posted by h0p3y at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Dolphins are so smart that they can convince fish to leap out of the water and into their mouths.

....and if the fish don't leap in (giggles) they go HUNGRAAAAAAY! bow-bow-bow - heyyyy, babba shi-babba -shibbowabba....


I'm sorry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:26 PM on January 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


Probably altogether better for homo sapiens the dolphins decided not to get out of the water.
posted by Pragmatica at 12:28 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans

That ain't sayin much.
posted by spicynuts at 12:30 PM on January 25, 2010


Ah, the Ernie method of fishing.

Heerree, fishiefishiefishiefishiefishie!
posted by dirigibleman at 12:32 PM on January 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


Probably altogether better for homo sapiens the dolphins decided not to get out of the water.

They got back in around 50 million years ago. Maybe they were smart enough to see humans coming and took to the seas? Anyway, that video made me happy.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:32 PM on January 25, 2010


Fuck yeah!
Nature is awesome!
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 12:32 PM on January 25, 2010


That particular technique would take a reasonably intelligent human to figure out, certainly above-average. If there was any doubt that we should be treating dolphins as peers, this really ought to remove it.

I know it won't, because they can't fight back, but it really should.
posted by Malor at 12:33 PM on January 25, 2010


More from brundlefly's opposable thumb Onion link:

I believe I speak for the entire human race when I say, 'Holy fuck,'" said Oceanographic Institute director Dr. James Aoki, noting that the dolphin has a cranial capacity 40 percent greater than that of humans. "That's it for us monkeys."
posted by bearwife at 12:34 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, it's still okay to eat them because they're members of a different species; if god hadn't meant us to eat dolphin he wouldn't have given us tuna nets; etc.
posted by grobstein at 12:36 PM on January 25, 2010


Humpback whales do something very similar to hunt herring.

A lot of animals take advantage of fish swarming instinct to trap fish and make them easier to hunt. The above video was from a documentary about the Alaskan Algae bloom that featured several species of birds, whales, dolphins, and seals which could cause such fish frenzies.
posted by muddgirl at 12:39 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


They got back in around 50 million years ago.

Learn something new every day. Sweet.
posted by Pragmatica at 12:40 PM on January 25, 2010


Not to say that dolphins aren't cool and very intelligent, but I think as we study animals more and more we realize that lots and lots of animals can learn new hunting techniques.
posted by muddgirl at 12:43 PM on January 25, 2010


A lot of animals take advantage of fish swarming instinct to trap fish and make them easier to hunt.

I can't find a link now, but I recall seeing video of swordfish (or other beaked game fish) using their beaks to direct fish schools into ever tightening packs for easy eating.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:45 PM on January 25, 2010


Fish: let us out of this mud ring!
Dolphin: *waves flipper* You don't need to leave the mud ring.
...we don't need to leave the mud ring
This is not the exit you're looking for.
...this is not the exit we're looking for.
Jump into my mouth
...jump in mouth ... jump in mouth
posted by Smedleyman at 12:51 PM on January 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


I just happen to have watched The Cove last night. Allow me to say, 1. It's much better than I thought it was going to be, and 2. Seriously, fuck whalers.
posted by rusty at 12:59 PM on January 25, 2010


Those are obviously Scottish dolphins.
posted by maudlin at 1:06 PM on January 25, 2010


I know it won't, because they can't fight back, but it really should.

I'd be up for forming a shady arms-smuggling ring to give them a better chance. Going round pubs with a bucket looking for donations for the boys 'under the water'.
posted by Abiezer at 1:07 PM on January 25, 2010


Yeah, but the Discovery Channel doesn't have Bottlenose Dolphin Week every year, does it?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:07 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was going to jump in and recommend the Cove as well but Rusty beat me too it. It's one of the most moving pieces of documentary film I've ever seen.
posted by photoslob at 1:14 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some things dolphins have done that are less adorable:

kill young porpoises

gang rape
posted by thisperon at 1:19 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some things dolphins have done that are less adorable.

Maybe eventually there'll be enough "bad dolphin" stories to compete with our daily headlines of murder, rape, incest, torture, war and genocide.
posted by bearwife at 1:24 PM on January 25, 2010



Maybe eventually there'll be enough "bad dolphin" stories to compete with our daily headlines of murder, rape, incest, torture, war and genocide.


I doubt it.

Their reporter's hats, pencils and little spiral notebooks will never compete with laptops and telecommunications.

Take that, dolphins!
posted by thisperon at 1:32 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I immediately thought of the bubble-net technique, too. Some references indicate that dolphins have been seen using it.

I found the puffs of silt rising off the bottom to be quite beautiful, in that fractal way that things following mathematical laws have.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:37 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, and these are FLORIDA dolphins! That's right, we are in the news for something other than corrupt politicians and crazy rednecks! YAY!

I love the happy dolphin feeding frenzy. Sorry, fish, but dolphins really are the kittens of the sea...
posted by misha at 1:44 PM on January 25, 2010


It looks to me as if they were practicing for Sea World tryouts.
posted by dov3 at 1:45 PM on January 25, 2010


Awesome. Absolutely awesome.

This xmas break I went paddling off the Florida coast for four days in the Everglades with a few friends. We paddled out to the Gulf on the first day and spent the night on a large key. The big sighting of the day was a shark, and the sunset was incredible. On the second day we paddled along the gulf, island-hopping, and spent the night on a smaller key. It was New Years' Eve, there was a full moon, and we'd found a coconut. We spent a few hours trying to get the little bastard open, but it was probably my best New Years to date. We hadn't pulled our canoes as far as possible up on the beach and we knew the tide was going to be coming in overnight, so I slept a little uneasily but was feeling too lazy to get out of the tent.

Anyway, sometime late at night I heard what could be misconstrued as the canoe dragging against the sand and shells of the beach, so I got out of the tent pretty quickly to see what was up. It was a pair of dolphins playing in the little bay that had formed with the high tide, and I was hearing them blowing water out of their blowholes. I don't know what they were doing but they sure weren't in a hurry about it and I had to go back into the tent and go to sleep before they got tired of swimming around. So I thought hey, dolphins, neat! But it was late and we had a big paddle the next day.

Sun comes up, we pack up and head out, it's going to be our last day on the gulf before we start to paddle inland, and we're island-hopping to Turtle Key in the near distance, which is the last key we wheel around before heading towards the Lopez River. We stop because we can see some dolphin fins in the distance to the left, at least three, and then we notice that there is another group off to the right, and while we're watching the surface of the water starts to bubble and fish start to fly out of it, like popcorn. There's four or five fins encircling the patch of water and one will disappear and the fish jump like popcorn again. They were herding them. We sat there for probably 40 minutes or so trying not to drift too close, as we didn't really want to bother them while they were eating. At the same time, we really, really wanted to get a closer look. It was hard not to intrude. Soon enough we really had to go because it was getting a little late, but when we started paddling away they finally seemed to notice us, and two of them split off from the group and started following behind our boat. I still think they would have followed us longer and maybe even come alongside us if we hadn't hit shallow water so quickly.

I guess my point is that I didn't fully appreciate dolphins until I went on this trip. I've seen them in aquariums and sea parks and whatnot, but it's different when they're wild. When the two that followed us crested the water and looked at us, the first time they'd stared right at us above the water, we all kind of lost our breath, and it was absolutely amazing to see them corralling so many fish. Dolphins seem like they have the run of things sometimes. It was a great send-off from the gulf, getting to see them like that.

And my other point is you really should go to the Everglades because you will see more wildlife than you can shake a stick at, but please don't actually shake any sticks at the animals.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 1:58 PM on January 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


grobstein : Well, it's still okay to eat them because they're members of a different species; if god hadn't meant us to eat dolphin he wouldn't have given us tuna nets; etc.

A cute sentiment now, but when it goes all Waterworld and we are being hunted for sport, someone is going to overhear a dolphin say "if god hadn't meant us to eat human, he wouldn't have made them such lousy swimmers..."

And if there is one things dolphins do well, it's have the last laugh.
posted by quin at 2:00 PM on January 25, 2010


I think as we study animals more and more we realize that lots and lots of animals can learn new hunting techniques.

From an article in the new National Geographic on Congo Chimpanzees:
Chimps in other parts of Africa are known to fish for termites with implements like this, but Maya goes one step further and modifies the tool. She drags the last six inches of the stem through her teeth to create a wet, frayed end, like a paintbrush, and pulls it through her closed fist to straighten out the bristles. With the dexterity of a professional lock picker, she then threads the brush-tipped stem into the same hole, pulls it out, and nibbles off a couple bugs that cling to the wand's frayed edges.

What's so remarkable about that fishing probe is that it represents a refinement. It's not just that some clever chimp figured out that it could break off a plant stem and use it to fish for termites—an impressive enough discovery in its own right—it's that some other chimp figured out a way to do it even better. And the brush tip is not merely a trivial upgrade. Morgan and Sanz have tried termite fishing themselves with both brush-tipped and unmodified sticks and found that they picked up ten times more termites with the frayed tool.
posted by morganw at 2:03 PM on January 25, 2010


Thsi video has two things I really like:
1 -Dolphins
2- David Attenborough


Agreed. I could listen to David Attenborough read a phone book about animal behavior.
posted by penduluum at 2:09 PM on January 25, 2010


quonsar's involved somehow, I know it.

Explains a lot.
posted by Danf at 2:43 PM on January 25, 2010


The BBC Life Documentary series incredible, I would completely recommend watching the whole set of 10. Most memorably for me - the komodo dragons going hunting, the monarch butterfly hibernation trees, and that the team sunk a boat to film a coral reef growing on it. Oh and the hilarious situation with the flying fish reproduction method...
posted by Enki at 3:42 PM on January 25, 2010


"So long, and thanks for all the fish. But we were actually pretty much on top of that."
posted by dhartung at 4:49 PM on January 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe eventually there'll be enough "bad dolphin" stories to compete with our daily headlines of murder, rape, incest, torture, war and genocide.

Along with the above mentioned items, dolphins haven't invented terrorism, nuclear weapons, reality TV or Windows.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: only human arrogance could assume that other creatures are less evolved than ourselves. Just because they don't carry iPods doesn't make them less intelligent.

It seems to me that they live well: working, eating, playing, protecting each other, procreating, and saving the occasional human from a shark attack.
posted by bwg at 6:02 PM on January 25, 2010


I know it won't, because they can't fight back, but it really should.

Well, has anyone thought of ARMING the dolphins?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:08 PM on January 25, 2010


Well, has anyone thought of ARMING the dolphins?

I'm afraid so.

Fun fact* after they retire from the military, modified and heroin-addicted, dolphins can be lured into doing your bidding in exchange for another hit.

* Not really a fact; more a fiction. Of science. Some kind of "science fiction" in fact.
posted by ErikaB at 6:20 PM on January 25, 2010


I think as we study animals more and more we realize that lots and lots of animals can learn new hunting techniques.

Sure. I think this is awesome because I love dolphins, but the most impressive dolphin story to me is their using tools. This ring-fish story is simply confirming how intelligent we already know them to be.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:44 PM on January 25, 2010


> If there was any doubt that we should be treating dolphins as peers, this really ought to remove it.

I think you may be forgetting that there is a contravening theorem, widely known and accepted throughout the scientific community.
posted by churl at 6:44 PM on January 25, 2010


Also worthy in any argument that dolphins are both awesome and awesomely intelligent: Dolphins blowing bubble rings and playing with them.

Loved seeing the jump-into-my-mouth fishing trick.
posted by pkingdesign at 7:25 PM on January 25, 2010


FUKA YOU, DOLPHRINN!
posted by clarknova at 11:32 PM on January 25, 2010


terribly smart, rubbish at catching. oh well, keep on evolving, dolphins...
posted by trulyscrumptious at 4:20 AM on January 27, 2010


Anyway, that video made me happy.

Me too.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:11 AM on January 27, 2010


« Older Movie made by chimpanzees to be broadcast on telev...  |  10 Best Songs about Libraries ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments