Dolphins are very smart creatures.
Researchers from Murdoch University have been watching bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia develop an ingenious way to fish. First witnessed by researchers in 2007, a dolphin will use a conch shell to trap and scoop up fish. The dolphin will then proceed to pour the fishies into its mouth as if they were the bottoms of a chip bag. The remarkable part is that this behavior seems to be becoming more widespread, marking it as a trend learned…
“Conching” is a method by which Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins are trapping small fish in conch shells, bringing the shells to the surface, and then shaking them with their rostrums to clear out the water and dump the fish into their mouths. More remarkably, the trend appears to be spreading throughout an entire population of dolphins, and fast.
The first isolated instances of conching were recorded in 2007 and 2009 among a small group of Shark Bay’s dolphins. But other dolphins seem to be observing that behavior and learning the method for themselves–in the last four months alone, researchers have documented the behavior six or seven times–marking a very rapid horizontal spread of behavior.
via Popular Science