Scientist Sam Ridgeway and his team have given us, in the pursuit of science, something we always wanted: a dolphin’s POV as they swim through the ocean, hunting fish. What’s more, the video captured via GoPro cameras attached to the dolphins feature audio, letting us hear the dolphins using echolocation and seemingly cry out triumphantly after a successful hunt.
In a paper published last August in the journal PLoS ONE, Sam and his team at the National Marine Foundation in San Diego claim that this is the first audiovisual footage showing a dolphin’s perspective as they hunt for live prey in the wild. The combination of high framerate and audio allowed the scientists to better research how dolphins communicate while hunting, as well as providing clarity on some hunting techniques used.
The dolphins, which are “technically free” to swim away at any time, were led out into the San Diego Bay for 50 minutes at a time, a combined total of 20 times. In the course of the research, one dolphin caught 69 fish while the other caught 40, each using a variety of techniques including combing the seafloor and checking in vegetation by using vocalizations.