Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Otter and the Gull

This past Fall we spent some time out on the spit looking for otters. We spotted this one in the fishing lagoon which does not have salmon (or fishermen) in it this late in the year. The otter was diving for clams and coming up with a clam in one hand and a big rock in the other. He would lay on his back and beat the clam shell on the rock to break it open. For some reason the otter keeps rolling over but he never seems to lose the rock or the clam. This use of a tool seems like some pretty intelligent behavior and we wonder if the otter learned it from its mother or if it is innately wired into their little brains.

We've seen this before in Monterey and written about it in an earlier post but this time was somewhat different in that a sea gull was following the otter around and eating little pieces of clam which the otter drops into the water.

So, which animal is smarter? The otter or the gull....


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