On Sunday 20th September, SWF staff with the help of CCW and Marine Awareness North Wales surveyed northern Cardigan Bay in order to conduct photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins onboard CCW vessel ‘Pedryn’. Little did they know that during the day they would be treated to a spectacle that included one dolphin kicking a jellyfish directly at the boat, splashing half the crew! During this encounter of a dozen animals in TremadogBay, they passed through a swarm of jellyfish. After a series of breaches, individuals in the group started kicking jellyfish into the air, repeatedly using their tail flukes to deftly flick the unfortunate jellyfish, scattering pieces everywhere. These dolphins were making no attempt to predate jellyfish, and although a young dolphin imitated its mother rather ineptly in this action, most of the “footballing” antics involved adults. Bottlenose dolphins are known to play with a variety of objects, such as pieces of seaweed.
However, we have not seen anything quite like this before!
Click here for video footage of the encounter: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8308796.stm.