15 October 2010

Close encounter between dolphin and dolphinfish

In the Northern Gulf of Evia, a lone bottlenose dolphin stops near a piece of white cardboard floating at the surface.

The dolphin shows an awkward 'buoying' behaviour while apparently staring at something below the cardboard (photo). Silvia and I think this may be a weird individual — perhaps with some physical problem? But then the dolphin resumes his normal surfacing behaviour and moves away.

We approach the cardboard and — surprise — we find a 30cm long common dolphinfish Coryphaena hippurus hiding below. These colourful fish often station below floating debris, and later on that day we find others swimming under a wooden box (photo).

Apparently, the dolphin found the dolphinfish and stopped to inspect, possibly while making up his mind on whether that could represent a suitable prey: to eat or not to eat?

No — the dolphinfish was too large to eat, but still a beautiful animal deserving a close scrutiny.


No comments: