Dolphin takes on octopus, but clever adversary mounts counterattack; photos

Bottlenose dolphin tries to shake octopus. Photo: Courtesy of Jodie Lowe/Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures

Bottlenose dolphins prey on a variety of sea creatures, and sometimes the creatures fight back.

Photographer Jodie Lowe, while on a voyage this week with Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures in New South Wales, Australia, captured rare images showing a dolphin named "Grandma" trying to shake an octopus that had latched onto her side and back, close to her blow hole.

Bottlenose dolphin tries to lose octopus upon reentry. Photo: Courtesy of Jodie Lowe/Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures

The company posted the images to Facebook on Tuesday, with the description:

"Awesome encounter with our local river dolphins on our National Park Eco Cruise today.

"We got to witness one of our local river dolphins, Grandma, with an octopus stuck to her and she was getting into midair trying to take it off. In the end she got it off and ate it."

Bottlenose dolphin dives headfirst with octopus clinging very close to its blow hole. Photo: Courtesy of Jodie Lowe/Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures

Events such as this are rarely documented. However, this was reminiscent of a scene that played out in 2012 off western Greece (see bottom photo).

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A bottlenose dolphin was photographed leaping with a large octopus attached to its belly, covering its genital region.

Joan Gonzalvo of the Ionian Dolphin Project told New Scientist that he had "never seen anything like this," and theorized that the dolphin had been attempting to prey on the octopus, when the octopus clung to its belly.

Bottlenose dolphin documented off Greece in 2012 with ‘naughty octopus’ clinging to its private region. Photo: Courtesy of Ionian Dolphin Project

A blog post by Gonzalvo was titled, “Naughty octopus."

That dolphin, too, was able to shake the pesky mollusk.

As for Grandma, she might be accustomed to the precarious nature of preying on octopi. Lowe told GrindTV that the matriarch of the Hastings River pod – who appears to be pregnant – is estimated to be 25 to 30 years old.