The sun was pretty warm and it warmed the cool waters. Perfect time for some fishing! I was so hungry that my stomach growled a bit but I swam along with my mates to find some fish. Shoals of beautiful, delicious fish in the beautiful ocean.
There were seven of us. Seven is a good number. I liked it. Though I disliked Tim a bit because he was stupid and scares the fish away sometimes, we still kept him in the group. There’s always an advantage in numbers. When my thoughts wandered as I swam, one of my mates – Mike alerted me of a shoal of fish!
“We’ll cash in now, boss?”, he called unto me which I didn’t like either.
We’re just a bunch of dolphins, none is a boss here. However I didn’t point it out to him and just nodded my agreement. By a bit of luck as well, a cold current carried the fish into shallow waters. Perfect!
But wait. Hunting a shoal of fish is not a cakewalk especially when they act as a single entity. Unity is strength and their unity is their strength. So is ours. If you’re a young dolphin reading this, read carefully now; because I’m going to teach you one important strategy. Divide and eat!
We swam together calmly following/chasing the shoal into further shallow waters. When it comes to hunting, patience is very important. We swam further and when we were almost near the coast, I unravelled the strategy that I had learned from my parents and other dolphins. Culture is something that is not unique to human beings and God knows what I would have done if I had been orphaned when I was young. I would have probably died.
Anyway, the water was so clear that I could see the shoal of fish only a few meters away. I signalled to my mates with a nod that I am preparing for an attack and they returned my nod. Well and good. Since we are mammals who once were adapted to living on land, we don’t swim like those stupid sea fishes. Our fins and tails swim ‘up’ and ‘down’ unlike the fishes which swim like ‘left’ and ‘right’. Suddenly, with utter speed I splashed my tail fin up and down which actually spewed up the mud in the coastal water and with lightning speed I began to encircle the shoal of fish, creating a suspension of muddy water and also creating confusion among the fishes. With the same speed, I swam and aligned with my pals with out mouths open.
One by one, the confused fish jumped out of the water to escape the muddy water right into our mouths. The mud took around a minute to settle down and the poor fish spent their last minutes confused and then into our mouths. That was one hell of a trick. We took turns and caught fish with the same strategy because fishes are not that intelligent to learn that they shouldn’t jump when the water turns muddy. I hope they don’t learn or else we’re a bit doomed.
After few mouthfuls, we were too tired to hunt; so we just bid our fish friends adieu and swam back to the ocean – to our home. The hunt was a success. Probably I’ll teach this trick to my kid one day; but for today I swam home with my stomach membranes at the threshold of creaking open.
Dolphins are extraordinarily intelligent creatures and the above story is just an attempt to anthropomorphise a bottlenose dolphin group hunting fishes near Florida. All the hunting methods depicted above are true and well documented. You can watch them hunting here.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Dolphins and hope to swim with them one day. When you learn that Humans are not the only intelligent beings in this world, you tend to view the world differently. You tend to enjoy life more and see the world as it is – not just from a ‘human’ point of view! Hope to write more stories like this. Comments and suggestions welcome 🙂