Dolphins Protect Their Snouts With Sponges
~ By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
(AP) - A group of dolphins
living off the coast of Australia
apparently teach their offspring to protect their snouts with sponges while foraging for food
in the sea floor. Researchers say it appears to be a cultural behavior passed on from mother to daughter, a first for animals
of this type, although such learning
has been seen in other species.
, living in Shark Bay, Western Australia
, use conically shaped whole sponges that they tear off the bottom, said Michael Kruetzen, lead author of a report on the dolphins in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pnas.org