A research team from Portugal on Wednesday watched in amazement as a Risso’s dolphin emerged with an octopus in its mouth (top photo).

“Sightings like this are very rare so everyone aboard in Ketos were very excited!” the group, AIMM, wrote on Facebook. “It was a good day for AIMM researchers and interns.”

While dolphins will attack an octopus, the feeding events are rarely witnessed. When they are witnessed, at the surface, it’s sometimes because the dolphins are experiencing issues with their clever and sticky adversaries.

The AIMM sighting brings to mind an event documented off Greece in 2012, involving a bottlenose dolphin that was jumping with an octopus clinging to its belly – more precisely, its private region.

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Joan Gonzalvo, a researcher with the Ionian Dolphin Project, used the term “naughty octopus” in a blog post describing the encounter. The dolphin eventually shook off – and presumably devoured – the pesky octopus.

In 2017 in Australia, photographer Jodie Lowe of Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures captured images showing a dolphin leaping from the Hastings River with an octopus clinging to its belly.

The company wrote on Facebook: “Awesome encounter with our local river dolphins on our National Park Eco Cruise today. We got to witness one of our local river dolphins, Grandma, with an octopus stuck to her and she was getting into midair trying to take it off.

“In the end she got it off and ate it.”

At the time, Grandma, matriarch of the Hastings River pod, was estimated to be 25-30 years old.

–Risso’s dolphin image atop this Post is courtesy of Michal Topczewski/AIMM

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