Scientists Tie Cameras to Navy Dolphins and Capture Something Terrifying

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Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / Getty

At the risk of giving the title prematurely, we think we’ve found the strangest study ever published in 2022. Scientists hooked GoPro cameras to the bodies of six US Navy-trained dolphins, and recorded them hunting for food and badly eating their prey. description. According to the study, there was a purpose behind this potential invasion of dolphin privacy; Namely, to learn more about how mammals hunted and ate.

Scientists have previously made two competing assumptions about how dolphins eat. They were engaged in either feeding rams, in which predators swim faster than their prey and grab the fish in their jaws as they overtake them; Or suction feeding, in which predators move their tongues and extend their throats to create negative pressure and slap the prey. study authors, who were Published on Wednesday in the magazine one moreIt was determined to determine which method the dolphins actually used.

,[S]and video have not been used together to observe the behavior of dolphins and the live fish they catch and consume,” they wrote in the study.

And, of course, there is the fact that these dolphins were trained by the US Navy. The Marine Mammal Program, as it is called today, has existed in some form or the other. before 1960, when Navy researchers attempted to improve torpedo design by studying dolphins. Since then, he has spent millions of dollars annually on parenting and training Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions, According to the program’s website, these animals have “excellent low-light vision and underwater directional hearing that allow them to detect and track underwater targets even in dark or foggy water”—and human divers. Unlike, they do not suffer from twisting.

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Ridgeway et al.

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Ridgeway et al.

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Still, the existence of a Navy program to train dolphins to identify targets such as deep-sea mines does not explain why this study was conducted. And because Sam Ridgway, the lead author of the research and founder of the Marine Mammal Program, passed away earlier this yearI don’t think we’ll ever know the answer to this pressing question. We should instead focus on the study text, which is helpfully written like dolphin fan fiction. Here’s a rundown detailing what the GoPro footage of the three dolphins hunting looked and looked like:

“If the dolphin caught, manipulated, and swallowed the prey, the squeaking continued. If the fish escaped, the dolphin continued to chase and sonar clicks were heard less frequently than the persistent terminal buzz and squeak During captivity, the dolphin’s lips flared to reveal almost all the teeth. Throat spread out. The fish kept swimming as the dolphin entered its mouth, yet the dolphin was seen sucking the fish below.

– Ridgeway et al.

The angle of the cameras offers a view of the dolphin’s side-eye that we’ve never seen before, and don’t care to see again. closer, it is clear that these are not Delightful Lisa Frank Dolphins, these are Terrible, Nightmare Inducing Roman Dolphins Those who seem to crave the thrill of the chase. The study, which is the Marine Mammal Program’s 330th peer-reviewed article, details how “it became clear” when dolphins identified their next target: the animals picked up speed, as evidenced by increased water sounds. as was seen through, and his heartbeat became audible in the recording.

It is important to remember that this pseudo-horror film footage had a scientific purpose. The researchers found that for the most part, dolphins are engaged in suction feeding, not feeding on rams. “We were amazed by the ability of all our dolphins to open their upper and lower lips”, he wrote.

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Ridgeway et al.

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Ridgeway et al.

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But wait! Gopros also caught a dolphin-eating sea snake, which has never been seen before: “It is remarkable that one day the dolphin Jade hunted 8 yellow-bellied sea snakes. As the dolphin approached the snake, he Clicked and then sucked it with a little more head jerk as the tail of the flopping snake disappeared and the dolphin made a long squeak.

You are welcome.

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