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Viewings: 6466In the animal Kingdom, many beings constitute "friendly" communication with representatives of other species. They usually short-lived and have the purpose of additional protection from predators or more efficient feeding.
But there are special unions, which are aimed at satisfying the thirst for fellowship. For example, a favorite of the famous female gorilla named Coco was a kitten named Ol Bol (All Ball), and in Kenya the natural Park Hippo Owen grew up next to a giant turtle Mzee (Mzee).
On the oceans of the World cannot find a more friendly mammals than dolphins. They are ready to maintain relations with a very wide range of animals and even humans. But the sperm whale has not previously been registered social contact with other species. Among marine mammals they are the most "shy", prefer to hunt on the depth and not trying to get into the field observations of researchers.
However, in 2011, behavioral ecologists research expedition was waiting for a big surprise. Alexander Wilson (Alexander Wilson) and Jens Krause (Jens Krause) from the Institute of freshwater ecology and inland fisheries Leibniz was watching sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), living in 15-20 kilometers from Pico (Ilha do Pico), which is part of the archipelago of the Azores.
What surprise of scientists, when as part of one of the groups of sperm whales they found adult male patient Dolphin or bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). For eight days the researchers observed marine mammals and concluded that attachment types mutual.
Being near the surface, a unique group of mammals communicates: Dolphin rubbing against his giant comrades, sperm whales reciprocate (photo Alexander D. M. Wilson/Aquatic Mammals).
"It seems that for some reason, sperm whales took Dolphin in his group on the rights of an equal member" - says Dr. Wilson.
The observed male bottlenose dolphins was suffering from a rare S-shaped curvature of the lower spine. Scientists assume that this is a congenital defect did not allow the Dolphin to stay with relatives and maintain their speed. Besides, he was doomed to low social status and could become easy prey for predators.
But sea travel in the slow group of sperm whales appeared to him quite capable. In addition, marine giants at the time of deep-sea hunting leave the youngsters at the surface with "nanny". Therefore, Dolphin, not accustomed to dive deep, always was entitled to rely on the company.
It is not clear, however, what benefit from communication with the bottlenose Dolphin took sperm whales. The more so that at last there are many reasons to dislike dolphins and even to quarrel with them. Biologists have often observed, as bottlenose dolphins chasing sperm whales and their calves, much bothering them.
One of the assumptions of the researchers explain this unusual group of mammalian sperm whales just enjoy the attention of a Dolphin or believe that it is a bit strange calf (photo Alexander D. M. Wilson/Aquatic Mammals).
However, researchers tend not to give in to temptation and to assess the behaviour of marine giants as sorry for the Dolphin. Because the observed phenomenon is extremely rare, and about the habits of sperm whales is known very little.
As one of the versions explaining, experts suggest that the giants just enjoy the attention of a Dolphin or believe that it is a bit strange calf.
A more detailed description of the observations and conclusions of researchers soon you can see in the article, which will be published in the journal of Aquatic Mammals.
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