Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sponges Aren't The Only Things

Australian marine researchers have observed at least one dolphin performing a set of steps that render cuttlefish more digestible. The steps are intended to flush out the ink sack and remove the cuttlebone.

Only one dolphin has been directly observed engaging in this behavior, near Melbourne, but cuttlebones have been sighted floating in the ocean near Perth.

The scientists doubt this is a unique dolphin's behavior, and they suspect that it is a skill female dolphins are much more eager and likely to learn than male dolphins.

I am excited about this because, like their behavior of using sponges to protect themselves and facilitate preying on anemones, this filleting procedure indicates a longer and more complicated chain of thought than previously theorized. It certainly seems more complex than a shark, which just goes gulp.

Via Pharyngula.

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