Lovely bubbly! Meet the clever dolphins who play with self-created air rings

Rebecca Lewis
Yahoo! News UK

Dolphins are known for their intelligence but this new trick is seriously impressive.

These clever animals have developed the talent for blowing perfectly shaped bubble rings.

They spend hours creating then chasing the bubbles in Oltremare Park, Italy. 

The bottlenose dolphins use their blowholes to create rings of air and then bite into the rings as they chase the bubbles to the surface.

Leanaro Stanzani captured the dolphins in action. He is the park's founder and president and has worked with dolphins for several decades.

The 63-year-old said they were extremely clever creatures which were able to amuse themselves by creating their own toys both in the wild and in captivity.

He said: "Dolphins are very complex and social animals, they like to play alone, with other dolphins or indeed with whatever appears between their fins.

"When they don't have toys available they create their own. Air bubbles and air rings are their self-made toys.

"They create the shapes by blowing air rapidly under the surface of the water.

"Sometimes they form rings using the vortex created by their fast swim by injecting air into it.

"They like to play with their own creations by biting them or following them with their sophisticated sonar system.

"The talent can be taught by trainers but more often than not one dolphin will learn to do it on its own and the others will copy it."