Dolphins Strand Feeding

Dolphins sometimes work together during feeding. They use a variety of cooperative methods to entrap their prey.

Seabrook is one of the few places in the world where they perform a technique called strand feeding.

From the National Wildlife Federation:

In the salt marshes of the southeastern United States, bottlenose dolphins use a wide variety of foraging behaviors. They frequently follow shrimp trawlers, diving down to the sandy bottom to catch fish and invertebrates disturbed by nets dragged behind the boats. They also circle shrimp boats at anchor, waiting for fishermen to toss unwanted fish overboard. It is not uncommon to see as many as 30 dolphins behind a single shrimp trawler, feeding on bycatch tossed overboard.

The most spectacular foraging behavior, however, is strand feeding, which usually involves one to six dolphins corralling a school of fish in a tidal creek at or around low tide. Working cooperatively and using echolocation to monitor their prey in the turbid, murky waters, the dolphins circle the fish, herding them into a tighter school and toward a gently sloping mud bank. Then, with a sudden burst of speed, the dolphins create a bow wave that throws the fish up out of the water and onto the mud bank. Using their excellent above-water eyesight, the dolphins scoop up the fish. For reasons still obscure to science, they always strand on their right sides, and, over time, the teeth on the right sides of their jaws wear down from taking in as much abrasive mud as fish.
[More on strand feeding from NWF here]

Photo by Ed Konrad