Research published last year from Bunbury, Western Australia carried out by Murdoch University explored how complex the process of Octopus handling can be for dolphins. (Similar latitude, water temps and depths).Octopus are notoriously difficult to handle, It is thought these antics of tossing and shaking octopus, requiring the dolphin to arch it’s head and upper body out of the water is a socially transmitted or learned behaviour. Hunting this prey is risky business and has to be executed perfectly. There have been several accounts of dolphins coming off second best, with one dolphin known to have been suffocated by a 2.1kg octopus!!With Octopus arms reacting even after being detached from the head!- Don’t know if that is gross, scary or awesome!!
Looks like this dolphin has some experience wrangling octopus around here! We have observed this behaviour before and with Cuttlefish too!You never know what you might see out there!
To get in on the action and antics of these wild dolphins make sure you jump out on a cruise.
To read more the article referenced is:
Sprogis, K. R., Raudino, H. C., Hocking, D., & Bejder, L. (2017). Complex prey handling of octopus by bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). Marine Mammal Science, 33(3), 934-945.
(We have a PDF copy available on request).
Photos in Article- Marine Mammal Research