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Monday, February 8, 2010

Pike display intelligent hunting patterns

DO pike hunt in packs?

Not a question you'll find an easy answer to on the internet but reports from divers at Dosthill Quarry suggest they may have learned some interesting new feeding techniques.

Normally lone predators who favour the "strike first, ask questions later!" style of hunting, it would appear the group of five adults at Dosthill are stealing ideas from dolphins and sharks.

Dive site boss Ian Forster said: "There are five of them hunting in a pack!!

"They are circling around the fry, herding them together in a large ball up against the quarry wall, and then attacking the shoal in two's and three's leaving a few pike to keep the ball together.

"This displays the same intelligent behaviour that is seen in dolphins!!"

Anyone who has seen Blue Planet or Nature's Greatest Events will know the drill. Fish hungry pack hunters like dolphins will surround the smaller fish, forcing them into a tighter an tighter ball by blowing bubbles to scare them or circling the shoal.

Gradually, they increase speed and narrow their path, trapping the fish in a tight ball against the surface before ripping through the centre of the ball for a feast.

pic from Jamie Parker's African Space sardine run tour

pic from Jamie Parker's African Space sardine run tour

pic from Jamie Parker's African Space sardine run tour

The pike are normally found on the back shelf over the weed beds and around the van and caravan, typically hunting in the morning and evening so it might be worth a look next time you are down there.

1 comment:

Parag said...

The Sardine Run is a spectacle in itself, but add to this, hundreds of predators arriving en mass to partake in a feeding frenzy, and you get a wildlife extravaganza rivalling the Great Migration of the wildebeest across the African savanna.
Sardine Run Diving