When it comes to the ocean, it’s survival of the fittest. The wilderness of the ocean waters can be harsh and unpredictable to some of what appear to be the most defenseless species.
With that in mind, no one can seem to explain why a wild bottlenose dolphin had the need to catapult a wild porpoise (a type of small whale) into the air, eventually leading to its death as gravity took its course.
The event happened in Newlyn Harbor in Cornwall, England and the moments were photographed on camera. Blood was reportedly visible in the water by passerby on a nearby boat.
Image Credit: Lizzie Warner
It’s believed that it may have been over competition of food in the region or sexual conflict, however no one can know for sure. This certainly isn’t the first case of a bottlenose dolphin attacking a porpoise for no apparent reason. Perhaps the two species just really don’t like each other.
“Many theories have been put forward, including misdirected infanticide (bottlenoses will kill calves), misdirected sexual aggression or play behavior and an aggressive response to feed competition are just some,” Cornwall Wildlife Trust said in a statement.
Following the vicious attack, experts later retrieved the porpoise carcass, which reportedly sustained its fair share of attacks prior to being launched several feet into the air from the water by the bottlenose dolphin’s powerful tailfin.
One thing experts can agree on is that these attacks certainly aren’t predatory. If they were, the dolphins would be going after the carcass for food. Instead, they leave the carcass and continue about their merry business afterwards.