New research shows that male dolphins use touch and ‘names’ to reinforce friendships within their complex social alliances.
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This is the dolphin equivalent to “bros” hanging out … and “holding hands.” To strengthen social bonds, the male bottlenose dolphins caress each other with their pectoral fins. In addition to physical touch, the males swim in synchrony to keep their relationships solid.
A new study highlights the complexity of relationships among male bottlenose dolphins in Western Australia’s Shark Bay. Researchers from The University of Western Australia also discovered that the dolphins use individual calls or “names” to identify themselves, and they use their “names” to remember friends … and rivals. Groups of two or three males team up to help their chances of finding and breeding with females. The smaller groups can form larger, second-level alliances. The dolphins remember who’s who, and prefer the company of some over others.
Read more in “Why Male Dolphin Buddies ‘Hold Hands'”
Male Bottlenose Dolphin Friends ‘Hold Hands’ | Nat Geo Wild
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