When it comes to finding friends, dolphins seem to be just like us and make close friendships with other dolphins who share a common interest. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B by an international research team from the Universities of Bristol, Zurich and Western Australia, provide further insights into the social habits of these remarkable animals.
Shark Bay, a World Heritage Site in Western Australia, is home to an iconic population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and is the only place where dolphins with marine sponges have been observed as feeders. This learned technique, passed down from generation to generation, helps certain dolphins, "sponges", find food in deeper water channels. While the technique of tool use has been well studied in female dolphins, this study has specifically addressed male dolphins.
Use of behavioral, genetic, and photographic data collected from 1
Male sponges spend more time associating with other male sponges than non-sponges, these ties being based on similar feeding techniques rather than kinship or other factors.
Dr. Simon Allen, co-author of the study and Senior Research Associate at the Bristol School of Biological Sciences, explains: "Foraging with a sponge is a time-consuming and largely lonesome activity. This study does not go far with the needs of male dolphins in Shark Bay Investing in the Formation of Close Alliances with Other Men Olefins build social bonds based on shared interests. "
The study provides new insights into the homophilic behavior in the dolphin social network using tools.
Manuela Bizzozzero, principal author of the study at the University of Zurich, added: "Male dolphins in Shark Bay have a fascinating social system of nested alliance formation that can last for decades and is crucial to the mating success of any man were very excited to discover alliances of sponges and dolphins that make close friendships with others with similar traits. "
The study was funded by grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society and the Australian Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation Inc. financed. SWRRFI), WV Scott Foundation and AH Schultz Foundation.
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