An Anaconda’s Appointment to Play with Dolphins Takes a Strange Turn


But Sonja Wild, a behavioral ecologist at the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany who was not part of the research, was skeptical that the interaction was intentionally instructive. She says it is reasonable for young people to observe because they are curious.

And because anacondas are powerful, Dr. Wild wonders if the snake was injured or died before the dolphins got to it. Of all the things one can get, “that seems a little extraordinary,” he said.

Dr. “This is the first time I’ve heard of dolphins playing with a large snake,” Wild added. Observed bottlenose dolphins using shells as tools.

Another thing that stood out from the photos – erect penises of male dolphins.

“It could have been sexually arousing for them,” said Diana Reiss, a marine mammal scientist and cognitive psychologist at Hunter College in New York, who was not involved in the study. “It could have been something to rub in.”

Aroused males may be having sexual intercourse with each other before the snake becomes entangled.

Researchers who study dolphins are well aware of the animals’ sexual tendencies, such as rubbing their genitals on toys or poking their penises into animate and inanimate objects. Dr. They often use their penises for tactile interactions, Reiss says. He even observed male bottlenose dolphins attempting to pierce the blowhole of a rescued pilot whale in an aquarium. He added that it is possible that the men may have tried to insert their penises into the snake.

“There are so many questions,” says Mr. Entiauspe-Neto.

Much more is known about ocean-dwelling dolphins than river dolphins, partly because it’s harder to see what happens when river water is muddy. Dr. Although they are limited in nature, “these observations are always valuable,” says Reiss. “It gives us another look at the lives of these animals, especially in the wild.”

Whatever happened in this animal encounter is not the subject of children’s storybooks.



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