What appears to be a playful and spectacular display of aquatic acrobatics is actually a pod of dolphins engaging in a deadly and impressive dance of agility, speed, and timing as they hunt for food.In the Moray Firth, dolphins hunt wild salmon by powering through the water beneath them and hurling them high into the air with a painful strike of their long noses or tails. Unfortunately for the salmon, they stand little chance of survival as the dolphins try to break their necks and swallow them whole before repeating the process on another victim.
These breathtaking pictures of the dolphin hunt were captured by amateur photographer James Moore from the shore at Chanonry Point, a spit of land that extends more than a mile into the Moray Firth near Fort George, Invernessshire.
According to Mr. Moore, “about eight dolphins came within 20ft of the shore. It was breathtaking. These are said to be the biggest bottlenose dolphins in the world because the water’s so cold, and they need a lot of blubber. Some of the salmon were over 10lb in weight. The dolphins use sonar to detect the fish, then swim underneath them and whack them high up into the air. The dolphins are beautiful, but the spectacle is clever and deadly.”