Friday, January 25, 2008
Dolphins Become Vicious Murderers
A dolphin kills a harbour porpoise in Scotland. It appears that beneath the friendly exterior of a dolphin beats the heart of a violent killer.
Dolphins are brutally attacking other sea mammals and even their own young, killing them with prolonged beatings staged with clinical precision, but biologists are unable to determine a reason why.
The murderous behaviour has been spotted in only two places, Scotland and Virginia. In 1997, scientists began finding the badly beaten corpses of young dolphins washing up on Virginia’s beaches at the same time as harbour porpoises in Scotland were washing up with similar injuries. At first the deaths were blamed on oil rigs or navy ships causing sonic trauma, but it soon became apparent the injuries were too severe to be anything other than an attack. Then they found an unexpected bit of evidence, dolphin teeth marks. And in 2004, Scottish researchers found a dead porpoise with cuts and puncture wounds that could have only been caused by a bottle-nosed dolphin.