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Bits & Pieces: Dolphins getting high

Ann Welch ann4plus1@yahoo.com
Ann Welch ann4plus1@yahoo.com

An interesting article from The Huffington Post: “Some dolphins are puffing on puffer fish.” Puffers release nerve toxins when provoked that can cause a narcotic effect, reports London’s The Sunday Times. Underwater footage from a BBC documentary shows young dolphins milking the fish of their toxins then passing the fish to other dolphins.

The young dolphins were purposely experimenting with something we know to be an intoxicant, said zoologist Rob Pilley. “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.”Large amounts of puffer toxin can be lethal, but a low dose can cause a trancelike state. Dolphins aren’t the only animals to find creative ways to get high. Dogs in Australia have been found licking cane toads, which excrete toxins in their sweat. The toxins apparently cause highs in some dogs but can be poisonous to others.

Who would have thought of such a thing? It seems that the more we study wildlife the more fascinating things we discover. This is why we must protect wildlife and their habitats so that their places on our planet are secure and not threatened by misguided human interests.

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