By bait hunting I mean some predator which first collects or finds some bait (food of its prey) and then uses the bait to lure and catch its prey. This question is inspired by this video showing an orca using a small fish to catch a bird.

To me this looks like it requires an amazing amount of intelligence from the orca to pull off. Note that the orca in the video is in captivity so I don't know whether this is something that wild orcas can do or whether this is a human trained behavior. More generally, is this something that some smart predators can do?

  • $\begingroup$ Intelligence? Ehhhhh...insects can use bait hunting too. I seem to recall I once saw in a book when I was a child that some assassin bugs wave around dead ant corpses to attract more ants (though most Google searches only end up with assassin bugs covering their body with dead ants which is not what I had in mind). Assassin bugs also pluck spider web strings to simulate caught insects to lure the spider out. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Oct 2, 2022 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


Well, Crocodylus palustris do this using sticks that birds want for nesting.

enter image description here (Photo from below article, copyright)

Behind a paywall is:

Crocodilians use tools for hunting.

V. Dinets, J.C. Brueggen & J.D. Brueggen Published online: 29 Nov 2013 https://doi.org/10.1080/03949370.2013.858276

It is also known that Crocodylus porosus caches uneaten food; and unproven suspicions that they use the cached food to bait-hunt aquatic animals.


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