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Marine Animals Of The Gadget Wars

Updated on August 1, 2012

Misperceptions

Scientists are always trumpeting some new discovery often with the qualifying term 'the first'. For example I recently read where some investigation into sea life has lead researchers to proclaim dolphins as 'the first' marine mammals to use tools. I am fairly certain that it has been well established and documented for some time prior to these newly made claims that sea otters are accomplished in the use of tools. I intend to show unequivocally that the otters were 'the first' to use tools in these maritime 'gadget wars'.

But first, back to the dolphins, dolphin moms to be exact. Being the good mothers they are and realizing that no one else ever bothers to clean up the sea floor, dolphin moms have organized and donned sponges on their snouts to give the ocean bottom a real good scrubbing! Yes, dolphin gadgetry has taken the form of snoot-sponges. I can only speculate how long the sea floor has been in such a state but apparently it has become a watery pig-sty of a place. This has forced the fed up dolphin moms to step things up an evolutionary notch in order to rectify the mess. After all, any reasonable mom doesn't want her children being raised in a dirty, dangerous deep. Of course you may think all this cockle clutter and flotsam filth has something to do with people and all our plastic prepackaged polluting but that is not the case presently. The primary perpetrators of this crummy crime are, of all critters, sea otters!

An Otter Offense

Maybe the scientists don't want to acknowledge that sea otters were the first. Maybe they don't consider sea otters to be true marine mammals because they don't spend 100% of their time in the ocean but it seems obvious to me that they spend the majority of their time there. If they didn't, well then we wouldn't use the word 'sea' before otter. And if science want to get really technical, I've seen lots of dolphins jumping out of the sea to do flips and flops, to finagle for free fish. In general they are notorious show offs, frequently flaunting their sleek forms out of water to whomever will watch. Why I bet some of the more shameless dolphins would, if they could , spend as much or more time out of water as the otters spend in it. Knowing them they would probably try breaking into show business or TV. But that is beside the point.

Sea otters were the first 'marine tool users', having for generations used their gadgets to crack open mollusks for dinner. Of course after emptying the shells of the contents, they've littered the sea floor with the refuse of their clam-gorgies and are the prime culprits of the mess down there. The dolphin moms have taken up their nose-sponges to clean-up as a reactionary measure to the sea otters' insensitive indiscretions. It's plain to see; offensive otters use gadgets to trash the sea floor, undaunted dolphin moms diligently use gadgets to tidy up. The one precedes and precipitates the other.

As the sea otters are decidedly dismissive of any plea proposed by the dolphin moms towards mitigating the mountains of refuse, this vicious cycle is bound to continue unabated. Poor dolphins. As if to add insult to injury, it appears that the sea otters have made an alliance with some fish who are learning their own form of gadgetry. As fish have only fins for limbs and nothing even remotely resembling opposing thumbs, they are relegated to fixed gadgetry in the form of stationary rocks on the sea bottom. Since the closest they get to prehensile is their mouths, these fish use a technique of picking up mollusks in their mouths and then somehow launching the mollusks onto the rocks to force the shells to open. After eating the clam I am certain the fish do not dispose of the shell in a proper receptacle, leaving yet more to be cleaned up. Of course this is good strategy for the fish. The more time they keep the dolphins busy with trash the less time the dolphins have to catch fish for dinner. None of this bodes well for the dolphins and even less so for the clams. After all, clams barely have a foot to stand on. At least dolphins can fall back on show-business.


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