Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Caught in the act: Diver takes first ever photos of a wild fish using a tool


First photo: A blackspot tuskfish - Choerodon schoenleinii - holds a clam in its mouth and hits it against a rock to break the shell so it can eat the bivalve inside

A professional diver has captured the first images of a wild fish using a tool.
Scott Gardner was exploring Australia's Great Barrier Reef when he heard a banging sound from the sea floor.

He swam down to take a look and was amazed to see a blackspot tuskfish - Choerodon schoenleinii - holding a clam in its mouth and hitting it against a rock.

After a short while, the shell broke and the fish ate the bivalve inside.

Tool use had long been considered a sign of human intelligence. However, in recent decades an increasing number of animals have shown they too can work with tools and objects... but it had never before been documented in fish

Fortunately, Mr Gardner managed to photograph this happening as there has never before been any evidence to prove tool use in fish.

Behavioural ecologist Culum Brown, of Macquarie University in Sydney, told Science Now: 'The pictures provide fantastic proof of these intelligent fish at work using tools to access prey that they would otherwise miss out on.

Diver Scott Gardner was exploring Australia's Great Barrier Reef when he heard a banging sound from the sea floor and swam down to takie a look. It was then that he captured this series of photos

Dr Brown said there have been reports of fish cracking open hard-shelled prey before, but never any photographic evidence.

He is particularly pleased with Mr Gardner's images seem to prove that this isn't a one-off event, but that the blackspot tuskfish is seasoned at opening shells in this manner.

Dr Brown described the fish's actions as 'landing absolutely pinpoint blows'.
Furthermore, he said, a small collection of crushed shells around the rock suggest the fish had been doing this for a while.

source: dailymail

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms