Researchers with the Ionian Dolphin Project had a bit of a surprise when they noticed this naughty octopus had attached itself to the genital slit of one of the dolphins they were observing near the Island of Kalamos off the west coast of Greece.
Project manager and photographer Joan Gonzalvo took the happy snap of the bottlenose dolphin and the (presumably) uninvited guest leaping through the air!
The observers noticed that there was something hanging from the underbelly of the dolphin as it broke through the surface of the water, but it wasn’t until they looked through the photographs that the team figured out that it was an octopus that had made the illicit attachment!
Gonzalvo and his team were not exactly sure why this octopus had attached itself to the dolphin’s genital slit however they mused that it may have been an attempt to avoid being eaten. Octopuses have a reputation for being incredibly wily – they are well known for their incredible ability to change color and camouflage themselves to avoid predators…but this tactic has got to take the sea-biscuit!
Gonzalvo said that the dolphin may well have been leaping through the air in order to try and dislodge the cling-on (you’ve had your fun mate – now it’s time to leave) and after a few jumps had managed to shake the creature off. They said that after the octopus became unattached, the dolphin continued to swim around showing no signs of discomfort from the odd joyrider!
Greek Octopus Forms Coalition With Dolphin’s Genitals (Via New Scientist)
Ionian Dolphin Project’s website