Crazed Dolphin Mob Seen Violently Attacking Porpoise

November 9, 2009

(ChattahBox)—For several years, dead harbor porpoises have turned up bloody and battered on California beaches, with marine biologists unable to solve the mystery of their deaths. Now, a video shot by a conservation group offers an explanation for the porpoise deaths, and it’s not what biologists expected. The video shows mobs of crazed male dolphins ganging up on a lone porpoise and beating it to death.

The video was shot by Okeanis, a Moss Landing-based conservation group and was the first ever indication that dolphin-on-porpoise violence existed in the wild.

Dan Costa, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz is not surprised by the news of aggressive male dolphins. “Everybody thinks flipper is this nice, mellow animal. In the wild, there’s interactions that occur and not all of them are friendly,” said Costa.

The video depicts a severe gang-like beat down. A group of male dolphins are seen surrounding the porpoise, before repeatedly ramming it and then finally drowning the porpoise. The dolphins are then shown inexplicably, delivering the porpoise carcass to researchers on a boat and swimming away.

Okeanis Chief Scientist Daniela Maldini said, “We saw severe beatings.” “It was a mob of dolphins,” she added.

Last year alone, about 74 dead porpoises washed up on California beaches with severe injuries, including internal bleeding, rake marks and broken bones.

Scientists are now investigating the cause for the previously unknown phenomenon, and are surmising the male dolphins may have been exhibiting sexual frustration, because of the scarcity of available females for mating.

Biologists plan to perform testing on male dolphins in the area to measure their levels of testosterone.

Source


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2 Responses to “Crazed Dolphin Mob Seen Violently Attacking Porpoise”

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