From dolphins and fish

The researchers have seen dolphins carrying conch shells in Shark Bay. Image: Shutterstock

When a predatory dolphin is on the hunt for food, fish often hide in an empty conch shell.

But the strategy may not be a viable option for fish living in Shark Bay, WA. There, a group of dolphins has learnt to empty conches by taking the shells to the surface and dumping out the water, forcing the fish out.

Swiss and Australian scientists observed the dolphin behaviour, which they describe as utterly spectacular. On the ocean floor, the dolphins put their noses into the opening of the conch to prevent the fish from escaping. At the surface, a dolphin shakes a conch shell until the water and fish fall out, creating an easy catch. Such behaviour has never been observed in dolphins before, and researchers believe that it may be limited to Shark Bay.

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