A cunning octopus was caught on camera clinging to a dolphin in order to avoid becoming prey.
Unusual footage has emerged of a dolphin jumping from the Hastings River in Port Macquarie, on New South Wales’ North Coast, with an unexpected passenger on its back.
Jodie Lowe, a local wildlife photographer, captured the stunning double-action last month while grazing along the river.
In the hope of eluding the food, the swift dolphin dove into the river with great agility.
When the predator tried to attack, the octopus is claimed to have turned the tables by riding on its back for a life-or-death ride.
The unique tactics used by a dolphin species to address this defense mechanism were described in a study published last month in the Journal of Mammmal Science.
Bottlenose dolphins shake the octopus in their teeth before plunging it into the water, causing the creature’s vital arm to wear out.
The dolphins can safely consume their prey once it has been pummeled to the point where all eight arms are inactive – but the war isn’t finished yet.
A bottlenose dolphin was discovered dead on a Bunbury beach in 2015, with an octopus hanging from its mouth. According to the researchers, the healthy dolphin suffocated to d.e.a.th while consuming its k.i.ller.