Dolphin Strand Feeding demonstrates teamwork at its best.
This “strand feeding” behavior contains a group of dolphins. To prepare to strand feed, they raise their eyes up from the water and assess the situation. As they approach the shore, the dolphins form lines next to each other. Their leader starts off, creating an advancing wave, forcing whatever gets caught up onto the shore.
Dolphins then individually rush through the tightly-compacted group, snatching as many preys as they can. The group takes turns rolling into shore and thrash to stun the stranded fish, making them easy prey. The group follows closely behind making sure no fish escape. Look for them performing this display at low tide.
The downfalls of this technique include sunburns and even death if they get stranded on shore.
The dolphins always strand feed on their right sides. Over time, dental wear and tear due to abrasion against sand or mud occur on the right side of their mouth and jawline. But feeding the pod must outweigh these risks.
Another unique hunting behavior is “pinwheeling.” This takes place when an individual dolphin encircles the prey. Positioned on its side with one pectoral fin out of the water, the dolphin traps fish by tightening circumference, before it goes in for the kill.
Click on this link to see a short video of pinwheeling: IMG_2003.