Dolphins playing with an anaconda – Bufeos jugando con una anaconda

2 male dolphins were seen playing with an anaconda while sexually aroused in a perplexing encounter captured by researchers

Kelsey Vlamis, Business Insider:

A case of playful interaction between Bolivian River Dolphins with a Beni Anaconda.
A case of playful interaction between Bolivian River Dolphins with a Beni Anaconda.
Un caso de interacción lúdica entre Delfines de Río Bolivianos con una Beni Anaconda.
M Entiauspe Neto, Omar; Reichle, Steffen; Ríos, Alejandro dos (2022). Figshare. Medios de comunicación. 
  • Researchers in Bolivia captured a rare encounter between Bolivian river dolphins and Beni anacondas.
  • At one point, two adult male dolphins held onto the snake and swam in unison while sexually aroused.
  • The researchers said the dolphins were more than likely playing, though many questions remained.

Two Bolivian river dolphins were seen swimming around and playing in the Tijamuchi River in Bolivia. The unusual part? They were carrying a Beni anaconda, an apex predator, in their mouths.

Researchers captured the rare encounter in August 2021 in photos and described it in a paper published last month in the journal Ecology.

The research team spotted a group of dolphins immediately upon arriving to the site and began taking photos. Only when they reviewed their first images did they realize the dolphins were carrying the snake, according to the study.

The researchers said it became clear the dolphins were playing with the snake rather than trying to eat it, in part because the interaction lasted for at least seven minutes.

At one point, they observed the adult males each holding onto the anaconda and swimming in unison. Upon reviewing the photos later, the researchers realized the dolphins had erect penises, which also supported the idea that it was a playful interaction.

Playing is a well-documented behavior in mammals and dolphins generally, but the encounter was the first-ever recorded between a Bolivian river dolphin and a Beni anaconda.

The researchers said many questions remained and offered possible alternative explanations for the behavior, including predation.

A case of playful interaction between Bolivian River Dolphins with a Beni Anaconda.
A case of playful interaction between Bolivian River Dolphins with a Beni Anaconda.
Un caso de interacción lúdica entre Delfines de Río Bolivianos con una Beni Anaconda.
M Entiauspe Neto, Omar; Reichle, Steffen; Ríos, Alejandro dos (2022). Figshare. Medios de comunicación. 

Beni anacondas are large semi-aquatic snakes, generally reaching more than 6 feet long, and typically have no known predators. Other than one record of cannibalism, there’s no published record of an animal eating a Beni anaconda.

Because the snake was submerged for much of the encounter, the researchers said it most likely died.

The researchers said it was also possible the adult male dolphins were teaching the juvenile dolphins that were present about the Beni anaconda, or that the dolphins were engaged in an attempt at courtship. They said male Amazon river dolphins have been observed in the past carrying objects in what appeared to be an attempt aimed at females.

Diana Reiss, a marine mammal scientist at Hunter College who was not part of the study, told The New York Times the dolphins may have been sexually stimulated by the anaconda: “It could have been something to rub on.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/dolphins-seen-playing-with-anaconda-while-sexually-aroused-study-2022-5

2 delfines machos fueron vistos jugando con una anaconda mientras estaban sexualmente excitados en un encuentro desconcertante capturado por investigadores
  • Investigadores en Bolivia capturaron un raro encuentro entre delfines de río bolivianos y anacondas de Beni.
  • En un momento, dos delfines machos adultos se aferraron a la serpiente y nadaron al unísono mientras estaban sexualmente excitados.
  • Los investigadores dijeron que lo más probable es que los delfines estuvieran jugando, aunque quedaban muchas preguntas.

Dos delfines de río bolivianos fueron vistos nadando y jugando en el río Tijamuchi en Bolivia. ¿La parte inusual? Llevaban una anaconda Beni, un depredador ápice, en la boca.

Los investigadores capturaron el raro encuentro en agosto de 2021 en fotos y lo describieron en un artículo publicado el mes pasado en la revista Ecology.

El equipo de investigación vio un grupo de delfines inmediatamente después de llegar al sitio y comenzó a tomar fotografías. Solo cuando revisaron sus primeras imágenes se dieron cuenta de que los delfines llevaban a la serpiente, según el estudio.

Los investigadores dijeron que quedó claro que los delfines estaban jugando con la serpiente en lugar de intentar comérsela, en parte porque la interacción duró al menos siete minutos.

En un momento, observaron a los machos adultos agarrados a la anaconda y nadando al unísono. Al revisar las fotos más tarde, los investigadores se dieron cuenta de que los delfines tenían penes erectos, lo que también apoyaba la idea de que se trataba de una interacción lúdica.

Jugar es un comportamiento bien documentado en mamíferos y delfines en general, pero el encuentro fue el primero registrado entre un delfín de río boliviano y una anaconda de Beni.

Los investigadores dijeron que quedaban muchas preguntas y ofrecieron posibles explicaciones alternativas para el comportamiento, incluida la depredación.

Debido a que la serpiente estuvo sumergida durante gran parte del encuentro, los investigadores dijeron que lo más probable es que muriera.

Los investigadores dijeron que también era posible que los delfines machos adultos estuvieran enseñando a los delfines jóvenes que estaban presentes sobre la anaconda de Beni, o que los delfines estuvieran intentando cortejarse. Dijeron que en el pasado se han observado delfines machos del río Amazonas cargando objetos en lo que parecía ser un intento dirigido a las hembras.

Diana Reiss, científica de mamíferos marinos del Hunter College que no formó parte del estudio, le dijo a The New York Times que los delfines pueden haber sido estimulados sexualmente por la anaconda: “Podría haber sido algo con lo que frotarse”.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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