Dolphins wield tools of the sea

Dolphins wield tools of the sea

Some bottlenose dolphins use sea sponges to forage for fish on the ocean floor, perhaps passing the behavior on as a social tradition

By Bruce Bower, 12:40 PM December 9, 2008

It’s not mealtime for certain bottlenose dolphins living off Australia’s coast unless they sport cone-shaped sea sponges on their beaks. These mammals are  not following a strange, marine-based dress code. Their behavior has been identified as the first clear case of tool use by wild dolphins or whales, a new study concludes.

These dolphins dive to the bottom of deep channels and poke their sponge-covered beaks into the sandy ocean floor to flush out small fish that dwell there, says a team le...

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