Puff, Puff, Pass: Teen Dolphins Are Caught Getting High On Puffer Fish
December 30, 2013
Dolphins are thought of as one of the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom – and experts believe they have put their ingenuity to use in the pursuit of getting "high".
In extraordinary scenes filmed for a new documentary, young dolphins were seen carefully manipulating a certain kind of puffer fish which, if provoked, releases a nerve toxin.
Though large doses of the toxin can be deadly, in small amounts it is known to produce a narcotic effect, and the dolphins appeared to have worked out how to make the fish release just the right amount.
Carefully chewing on the puffer and passing it between one another, the marine mammals then enter what seems to be a trance-like state.
The behavior was captured on camera by the makers of Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, a series produced for BBC One by the award-winning wildlife documentary producer John Downer.
Rob Pilley, a zoologist who also worked as a producer on the series, told the Sunday Times: "This was a case of young dolphins purposely experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating.
"After chewing the puffer gently and passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection.
"It reminded us of that craze a few years ago when people started licking toads to get a buzz, especially the way they hung there in a daze afterwards. It was the most extraordinary thing to see."
The documentary makers used spy cameras hidden in fake turtles, fish and squid to film 900 hours of footage showing dolphins in their natural habitats.
Wild Monkeys Welcome Back An Injured Young Monkey Who Spent 3 Weeks Being Treated For An Injury
Women Surround Crying Mom Whose Toddler Was Having A Meltdown At The Airport
20 Volunteers Perform CPR On Man In Grocery Store For 96 Minutes Until Paramedics Arrived
Dog Sleeps In Owners' Bed Every Night, Then They Had A Baby
The Golden Retriever Egg Challenge Is The Best Viral Video Trend Yet
Dad Comes Up With Brilliant Method To Trim Dog's Nails
Norway's Ski Team Made An Epic Parody Of 'Gangnam Style' For The 2018 Winter Olympics
Everyone Loses It Over This Game Show Question's Possible Answers
People Can't Stop Laughing At NBC's Opening Ceremony Commentary On The Netherlands
Pig Brings Lunch To His Brother Who Has Trouble Walking
This Guy Created A Highlight Reel Of His Speedy Dog Out-Maneuvering Every Other Dog At The Park