Featured Image Credit: Unsplash
By: Sarah Sharkey
Researchers in Shark Bay, Australia recently discovered something very interesting about bottlenose dolphins. They have names!
That’s right, these intelligent animals use names to identify each other with. The study was done with scientists from the University of Western Australia, the University of Zurich and the University of Massachusetts. The researchers looked at 17 male dolphins and tracked their relationships and vocal patterns throughout the bay.
The lead scientist, Stephanie King, had this to say about the results, “What we found is that male dolphins that form long-term cooperative partnerships or alliances with one another retain individual vocal labels or names that allow them to track rivals and friends in their social network. It’s an usual finding because across the animal kingdom many animals make their calls more similar when they form strong social bonds.”
The animals were able to track their own relationships and differentiate between friends and enemies very easily with a unique vocalization that would be considered a name. The dolphins used physical contact to reinforce their social bonds which seemed similar to humans giving hugs according to King.
The interesting findings on dolphin behavior has prompted King to find out even more. She hopes to examine the cooperative alliances in order to discover if the partnerships are equal in the near future.
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