Animals Video

By Mike Jones


This dolphin appears to be encouraging a tiny puffer fish to release its poison – for recreational purposes.

Pushing the miniscule fish around under the waves, the dolphin looks like he might be playing with the prey.

PIC BY Peter Koen / Extreme Nature Tours / CATERS NEWS 

But experts believe the mammal is trying to bait the pufferfish into releasing the nerve toxins, which in small amounts can make the dolphin get high.

The dolphin also appears to want to share the fun as it pushes the fish towards the divers to join in.

PIC BY Peter Koen / Extreme Nature Tours / CATERS NEWS 

Peter Koen, a guide who runs Extreme Nature Tours, said: “It is generally agreed amongst researchers that they do this with puffer fish because they are after the toxins the puffer fish releases when it is disturbed by a predator.

“They say they do so because the toxins are a drug to them and they enjoy the intoxicating effect it induces.

“Perhaps this dolphin even wanted to share!

BYLINE PIC BY Peter Koen / Extreme Nature Tours / CATERS NEWS 

“This is probably regular behaviour for dolphins because puffer fish are common enough and easy to find on the healthy reefs.

“Sadly for the puffer fish the ending is usually not good because the dolphins often place enough pressure on them to pop them once they have done getting their fix.”