Fish caught on video using a rock to break open a clam

By Muriel Kane
Saturday, October 1, 2011 1:27 EDT
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It isn’t just humans, apes, dolphins, birds, and octopuses who use tools. Even fish have been spied using rocks to break open shellfish — and now a video of an orange-dotted tuskfish doing just that is available to prove the claim.

The video was shot by Giacomo Bernardi, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. It shows a tuskfish digging a clam out of the sand, then carrying it for a considerable distance until it reaches a rock it can throw it against.

“This is basic tool tech,” Jennifer Viegas of discovery.com remarks in her article on the video, “but it does the job and is impressive when you consider that fish don’t have hands or much to work with in their habitats.”

Professor Bernardi believes there may be much more to be learned about the relatives of the tuskfish. “We don’t spend that much time underwater observing fishes,” he notes. “It may be that all wrasses do this. It happens really quickly, so it would be easy to miss.”

This video was uploaded to YouTube by Giacomo Bernardi on September 27, 2011.

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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