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GMA: Upcoming Documentary Shows Dolphins Intentionally Getting High on Puffer Fish?


Bliz

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And why not?  Puffer fish is from the Earth, man.

 

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/343371/scitech/science/docu-reveals-dolphins-chew-pass-around-puffer-fish-to-experience-high
 

 

The accrued footage revealed something totally unexpected: dolphins were using their keen intelligence to deliberately get “high” by chewing on puffer fish.
 
In the documentary, young dolphins were observed to be carefully nibbling on a specific species of puffer fish, which in turn caused said fish to release a nerve toxin.
 
Large amounts of this toxin are known to paralyze and even kill humans. But in smaller doses it can produce a narcotic effect. To all appearances, the dolphins have figured out a way to provoke the fish to release just the right quantity for their desired narcotic results.
 

After gently chewing on the puffer fish, the dolphins then passed the fish around to others in their pod. They then entered a state that has been described as trance-like.

 

...

 

 

 

“This was a case of young dolphins purposely experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating,” he said. “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.”
 
He added: “It reminded us of that craze a few years ago when people started licking toads to get a buzz, especially the way they hung there in a daze afterwards. It was the most extraordinary thing to see.”
 
Pilley also insisted that the behavior couldn’t have been an accidental, one-time thing: “The dolphins were specifically going for the puffers and deliberately handling them with care.”
 
According to Jason Bruck, a researcher at the University of Chicago, “it is very possible that dolphins are doing this (getting high on purpose),” adding that there is also previous evidence of “elephants getting drunk on fermented fruits.”

 

 
 
 
...or are they???
 
 
The puffer fish toxin is called tetrodotoxin, or TTX. While there is a huge body of evidence proving the toxin’s dangers to humans, there is currently no research that confirms if it has a similar, damaging effect on the dolphin nervous system.
 
Diana Reiss, who researches dolphin cognition at Hunter College in the USA, claims there is nothing extraordinary happening between the dolphins and their puffer fish playthings.
 
“We’ve observed dolphins pass fish around in normal play behavior,” Reiss told NBC News
 
As for the dolphins’ seeming fascination with their own reflection in the surface of the water, she said: “I can tell you that when they’re not intoxicated, they are also fascinated by their reflection.”
 
Christie Wilcox, a University of Hawaii graduate student, also finds it difficult to believe dolphins would pursue puffer fish for a high.
 
“The puffer fish’s tetrodotoxin shuts down nerve cells, but it doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier,” she said in a statement to ABC News.

“It’s not like recreational drugs that have some effect on the brain, so I find it hard to believe that it would be pleasurable.”
 
Additionally, if the dolphins really were after a narcotic high, there are other sea creatures that could provide the same effects as the puffer fish. “In many areas of the world, sea bream are known to produce vivid visual and auditory hallucinations, much like tripping on acid,” she stated. “And of course, people have used them recreationally.”

 

 

Tripping on bream?  Really? 

 

What "areas of the world" are we talking about?  Asking for a friend.  %-)

 

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