Clever Whales Bait Gulls With Fish

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by Casshew, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario (AP) -- An enterprising young killer whale at Marineland has figured out how to use fish as bait to catch seagulls -- and shared his strategy with his fellow whales. <o =""></o>

    Michael Noonan, a professor of animal behavior at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., made the discovery by accident while studying orca acoustics. <o =""></o>

    “One day I noticed one of the young whales appeared to have come up with a procedure for luring gulls down to the pool,'' the professor said. “I found it interesting so I noted it in my log.'' <o =""></o>

    First, the young whale spit regurgitated fish onto the surface of the water, then sank below the water and waited. <o =""></o>

    If a hungry gull landed on the water, the whale would surge up to the surface, sometimes catching a free meal of his own. <o =""></o>

    Noonan watched as the same whale set the same trap again and again. <o =""></o>

    Within a few months, the whale's younger half brother adopted the practice. Eventually the behavior spread and now five Marineland whales supplement their diet with fresh fowl, the scientist said. <o =""></o>

    “It looked liked one was watching while the other tried,'' Noonan said of the whale's initial behavior. <o =""></o>

    The capacity to come up with the gull-baiting strategy and then share the technique with others -- known as cultural learning in the scientific world -- was once believed to be one of those abilities that separated humans from other animals. <o =""></o>
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  3. Magnum PI

    Magnum PI Former Member

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    Were these Orcas that were seagull eating? I didn't know anything would eat a gull..these whales should know to kill a seagull is bad luck also...mpi

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