A bottlenose dolphin that researchers have been tracking since 2003 follows a complex regimen when preparing a meal of cuttlefish, National Geographic reports. The female dolphin, caught on tape off the coast of Australia, first kills the squid-like creature, shakes it to remove indigestible ink, and then scrapes its catch on the seafloor to remove a pesky bone. Only then is it dinnertime.
Cleaned cuttlefish bones have been found on the ocean surface after a pod of dolphins swims through, leading researchers to believe that the intricate practice is taught among them. “It's an example of quite sophisticated behavior,” said a co-author of a study on the subject, noting that the limbless marine mammals have adapted their snouts to complex tasks. “A dolphin is like a genius trapped in the body of a fish.”