We humans love dolphins -- they're cute, playful and highly intelligent. What's not to like?
Ask an octopus.
The unassuming octopus in the photo below was minding its own business last week off Western Australia when an excited bottlenose dolphin scooped it out of the water and began to toss it around.
Krista Nicholson, a PhD candidate at Murdoch University, captured photos while conducting research for the Mandurah Dolphin Research Project.
She saw the dolphin use its nose to toss the octopus into the air, as if to play with it.
"It was absolutely spectacular to watch," Nicholson told WA Today. "It would let it float for a while, then come back and grab it by a tentacle and throw it into the air."
Nicholson told the Mandurah Coastal Times that she has seen dolphins play with octopuses, but it's rare to get photos of such an encounter. "It’s not unheard of for dolphins to do this, but it’s not a regular occurrence," she said.
Dolphins are known to feed on octopuses, so the play date may not have ended well for the eight-armed sea creature.
But one thing's for sure: The dolphin had a grand time.