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How Dolphins Lead the Feast

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Dolphins are the keystone heroes of the sardine run, acting as orchestrators of feeding events for sardine predators, such as sharks, gannets and whales. They corral sardines from the main shoal into smaller bait balls for easier feeding.

TRANSCRIPT

- [Narrator] The sardines turn to the only defense they know, schooling up as tight as they can.

One moves, and they all move.

But the dolphins are prepared for this.

Their goal is to prevent the shoal from diving deep.

They coordinate their efforts, blocking the sardines' evasion.

With surgical precision, they slice balls away from the main shoal.

(dolphins squeaking) They blow bubbles to corral any fish that tries to break form, forcing the fish tighter and tighter together.

Every fish instinctively tries to get into the middle of the pack, but now, exhausted gills struggle to suck oxygen from turbulent water.

(dolphins squeaking) Ball after ball is dissected from the shoal and obliterated.

The dolphins get what they waited for.

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