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Scientists capture Dolphins stealing bait from crab pots displaying their intelligence

In a groundbreaking video, dolphins are caught stealing from crab pots, leaving scientists astonished at their intelligence.

Scientists capture Dolphins stealing bait from crab pots displaying their intelligence
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | 7inchs

Dolphins, who are popular for their playful antics with humans are also well-known for their remarkable intelligence. These marine mammals have showcased a heightened understanding of the world around them and have developed a deep bond with humans. Recently, a team from the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury managed to capture amazing footage of dolphins stealing bait from crab pots and nets. This is the first time such footage has been captured and it showcases just how intelligent these animals are.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Hamid Elbaz
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Hamid Elbaz

Axel Grossman, who is a volunteer and filmmaker, spoke to ABC News AU about capturing the footage, saying, "The footage was certainly surprising—we knew something was happening." He further spoke about how they did not have an idea of the extent to which these wonderful creatures went to steal food. He described the endeavor as a mix of physical and mental problem-solving from the animal. The animal also had to learn over time to perfect the technique.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

Simon Allen, a dolphin expert from the Shark Bay Dolphin Research Alliance, shared that bottlenose dolphins are very smart animals. The new footage also showcased how there was much more to be learned and explored from dolphin and human relationships. He said, "It's fascinating to be able to learn more about the ways in which dolphins learn and transmit new behaviors. But it is also crucial to learn how to avoid further negative impacts on dolphin welfare and conservation."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jonas Von Werne
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jonas Von Werne

Russell Dawson, another individual who has been crabbing in the area for more than four decades, mentioned how the dolphins had only recently begun to steal from the traps that he set up. He said, "In the last 20-odd years, it happens all the time. If you see some dolphins around, you can guarantee you're going to get your crab nets raided. It's frustrating."


 
 
 
 
 
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In the video, we get to see dolphins utilizing their eyes, rostrum and teeth to be able to get bait from crab pots within the Leschenault Estuary and Koombana Bay in Western Australia's south-west. The rostrum is basically the beak-like part of a dolphin's face. These wonderful creatures have also adapted to use their rostrum, bodies and teeth to open submerged boxes of bait. Even though dolphins have been stealing from crab pots for decades, the footage has also made researchers curious about how crab fishermen and dolphins can coexist in the area.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola

As a result of dolphins stealing from his traps, Dawson has come up with creative new baiting methods. He spoke about it, saying, "I use a plastic mesh or a bait cage [which the dolphins can't get through]. I'll cable tie them closed and when I take the cable tie off, I take it home and put it in the bin." He also did not want to cause any harm to the intelligent creatures, so he suggested that a metal hook could be used in place of a zip tie while crabbing. The footage proves to be an interesting development in the context of research related to dolphins and will prompt researchers to answer more questions about these smart animals in the future.

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