It’s kind of like old men using worms to catch fish. Except without opposable thumbs and funny hats.

Whale uses fish to catch birds

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - An enterprising young killer whale at Marineland has figured out how to use fish as bait to catch seagulls — and shared his strategy with his fellow whales.

Michael Noonan, a professor of animal behavior at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., made the discovery by accident while studying orca acoustics.


Noonan estimates that before this distraction from his work, he was six months away from orca 5.1 digital surround sound. The world may now never see the breakthrough technology.

First, the young whale spit regurgitated fish onto the surface of the water, then sank below the water and waited.

If a hungry gull landed on the water, the whale would surge up to the surface, sometimes catching a free meal of his own.


Where are the animal rights people on this? Whales eating birds eating fish? This is atrocious. Think of the children.

Noonan watched as the same whale set the same trap again and again.

Within a few months, the whale's younger half brother adopted the practice. Eventually the behavior spread and now five Marineland whales supplement their diet with fresh fowl, the scientist said.


Thus answering the age-old question: fish or chicken?

Noonan first shared his research earlier this month at the U.S. Animal Behavior Society Conference in Utah. Since then, he said, his phone hasn't stopped ringing.

“You know, because of all the ladies,” he continued, as he cleaned his glasses on his shirt, smearing a mustard stain across the lenses.

3 Responses to “news nugget”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Ha! I'm dying! "fish or chicken?"  

  2. # Blogger Joe Fuel

    That's awesome. I want video.  

  3. # Blogger Fuzzball

    I LOVE it. Hell, I'd be one of the ladies calling. I've got a thing for the nerds, what can I say?  

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