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Home > English (en) > News > 2013 > DOLPHINS CHEW FISH TO GET HIGH
Published on 31 December 2013  by encod

DOLPHINS CHEW FISH TO GET HIGH

30 December 2014

By Travis Gettys



All the versions of this article: [English] [Nederlands]




View online : THE RAW STORY

Experts have found evidence that young dolphins purposefully and carefully chew puffer fish to get high.

The behavior was captured by filmmakers during the creation of the BBC One documentary series Dolphins: Spy in the Pod, which used spy cameras hidden in fake turtles, fish and squid to film more than 900 hours of the aquatic mammals in their natural habitat.

Puffer fish release a toxin that can be deadly in larger amounts, but it can produce a narcotic effect in smaller doses.

Scientists found that dolphins apparently had learned just how much of the toxin would safely intoxicate them, and they carefully chewed the fish and then passed it among themselves.

The dolphins then entered what appeared to be a trancelike state.

“This was a case of young dolphins purposely experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating,” said Rob Pilley, a zoologist who worked as a producer for the series. “After chewing the puffer gently and passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection.”

Pilley said the behavior was reminiscent of human attempts to seek biological highs.

“It reminded us of that craze a few years ago when people started licking toads to get a buzz, especially the way they hung there in a daze afterwards,” he said. “It was the most extraordinary thing to see.”

The series premiers Thursday, and the “puff-puff-pass” scene will be shown in the second episode.

The documentary makers have previously used similar techniques to record behavior by penguins, lions and elephants.





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The European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies, is a pan-European network of currently 160 NGO’s and individual experts involved in the drug issue on a daily base. We are the European section of an International Coalition, which consists of more than 400 NGOs from around the world that have adhered to a Manifesto for Just and Effective Drug Policies (established in 1998). Among our members are organisations of cannabis and other drug users, of health workers, researchers, grassroot activists as well as companies.


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