Dolphins Filmed Chewing Toxic Puffer Fish 'To Enjoy Narcotic-like Effects'
Dolphins are said to share the human traits of bravery, jealousy and even a sense of humour. But i...
But it seems they share some worrying vices as well.
Scientists were amazed at footage of the mammals apparently getting 'high' with the help of a toxic puffer fish.
In an extraordinary scene filmed for a new TV series, the dolphins are shown gently passing the fish between them. Experts believe the creatures are using the toxins, which emerge from the puffer fish as part of its defence mechanism, for their own enjoyment.
They nudge the fish with their snouts and as the toxin is released into the water, they seem to lapse into a trance-like state.
At one point the dolphins are seen floating just underneath the water's surface, apparently mesmerised by their own reflections.
The dolphins were filmed gently playing with the puffer, passing it between each other for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, unlike the fish they had caught as prey which were swiftly torn apart.
The footage, from a forthcoming BBC1 show called Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, was taken by wildlife filmmaker John Downer – who has previously used hidden cameras to bring the secrets of penguin colonies to television screens.
Mr Downer designed underwater cameras disguised as squid, tuna and even other dolphins.
The BBC1 series follows the success of Penguins: Spy In the Huddle, which used similar tactics of disguised cameras, documentary producer Mr Downer was eager to create a range of cameras disguised as sea creatures to offer viewers unprecedented proximity to their favourite species.
As well as the Dolphincam, the Tunacam, Turtlecam and Squidcam have also been created for different spying roles, with each fitted with HD cameras to capture life under the sea.
With the help of the cameras, viewers can watch a mother teaching her calf to catch fish and leap from water, as well as finding themselves at the centre of huge megapods with thousands of dolphins swimming around them at once.