There are probably easier prey for the hungry bottlenose dolphin to feed on but it has developed a ‘flipping’ method that has made the process a whole lot more manageable.
Dolphins obviously don’t have the luxury of hands to grab their leggy dinner so instead they have taken to using their long noses to throw them around in the air.
By tossing the octopus across the water, dolphins avoid letting the octopus latch onto their bodies. pic.twitter.com/a1a1NVYJAn
— The Conversation (@ConversationEDU) April 3, 2017
The marine mammal grabs hold of the octopus in its jaws biting it and hurling it around in the air before slapping it on the surface of the water.
It is thought this behaviour stuns or kills the dolphin’s prey before it is bitten into smaller pieces and devoured.
This may sound like a gruesome and violent process but dolphins are taking something of a risk when they choose octopus for dinner – and biting into smaller chunks is necessary.
An octopus has suckers on its arms that mean a dolphin could choke to death if trying to eat one whole – especially as the legs remain mobile after being fatally wounded.
They also act a a defence mechanism before being eaten so a dolphin needs to ‘disarm’ its prey before eating it, according to theconversation.com.
The site adds that octopus shaking and tossing is “yet another example that illustrates how intelligent and adaptable these charismatic marine predators are”.
Top pic: Twitter/@ConservationEDU