These observations not only amaze researchers: Several Bolivian river dolphins swim through the Tijamuchi River in Bolivia with an anaconda in their mouths.
The recordings were made by a group of scientists who had set out to observe the animals. According to them, the pod consisted of six animals, including juvenile and adult dolphins. Two of the males carried the anaconda through the water.
Although the boa snakes also live in the river, they have to come to the surface to breathe – the researchers suspect that the animal died while interacting with the dolphins.
Dolphins are known for their playful behavior. They sometimes use sticks or other objects for this purpose. However, it has not yet been observed that they play with an adult anaconda. In their report, the scientists assume that the animals teach their young to hunt. River dolphins usually feed on fish, turtles or crabs.
“They are carnivores. We weren’t able to determine for sure that they ate the dead snake. But it’s possible that they did,” the researchers report.
However, it is also possible that the animals lost interest in the dead snake after a while: the behavior is known in relatives of river dolphins – the bottlenose dolphins. They kill their prey and play with it without eating it afterwards.