According to a new study, dolphins engage in complex social interactions similar to what humans do.
Dolphins belong to the cetacean group, which consists of mammals that live in waters.
A team of researchers from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, has been studying the bottlenose dolphins for approximately six years and found that these extremely intelligent marine animals have their own social networking, which is more complex than scientists previously believed.
The study was conducted along the Indian River Lagoon and its purpose was to better understand the social behavior of marine mammals.
The study involved observing the networking patterns of more than 200 dolphins.
Thanks to this study the scientists were also able to learn how the habitat influences the social preferences of dolphins.
The region involved in the study is an estuary that is about 156 miles long and is located on the east coast of Florida.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the lagoon as “”Estuary of National Significance.”
The researchers found that like humans, dolphins also interact and mingle with the dolphins they like, avoiding those they don’t consider friends.
The study also revealed that dolphins living in the lagoon occupied certain areas of the water body and formed groups.
One of the most important things the researchers found thanks to this study was how the habitat plays a very important role and how it can influence the social dynamics between the dolphins.
Elizabeth Murdoch Titcomb, a research biologist and one of the lead authors of the study, explained that dolphin communities that occupy some of the narrowest areas of the Indian River Lagoon have the tightest social network.
The biologist compares the dolphin’s behavior to that of humans living in small towns and do not have too many people to interact with.
The researchers believe that the new study provides new insight into how dolphins behave socially and how their behavior is influenced by the environment in which they live.
The new study is very significant because it reveals new information on animal behavior which can help wildlife managers better understand the dolphins’ breeding patterns. Also, the study shows how dolphin groups share information among each other.
The scientists also hope to better understand the spread of diseases among marine mammals such as dolphins.
The findings of the new study were published in the journal Marine Mammal Science.
Image Source: itsnature