It also appears that male dolphins with the strongest social contacts and the most reproductive ones have the largest number of children. And they maintain those important friendships by… whistling.
These are bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay in Australia. They are known for their large social groups, which are all men who do not relate to each other. It is an uncommon compound in the animal kingdom.
Scientists studied 30 years of data on the behavior of different “squads” of males from this environment. When they also looked at genetic data for males and young adults from the habitat, they saw: The males with the strongest friendships and most connections in the group also had the most children.
But how do these men maintain their friendships? They do it by touch and play, but also According to another study: by whistling at each other† Especially if another male in the group is too far away and an acquaintance (not a close friend) picks the whistle. That whistle – which dolphins learn to use at a young age to get to know each other – says as much as it says: Here is a henk, and here is a henk. To which someone else responds: Here’s Harry, here’s Harry, about.
Very effective and simple way to keep your contacts. Which also seems to provide more for future generations.
Read more: Whistle dolphins to keep in touch with distant friends† Dolphin voice credit: Stephanie King, University of Bristol researcher. Twitter image: Screenshot from video by researcher Simon Allen.
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