On women’s day, us ladies like to remind ourselves that the only way to really achieve what we deserve is to do so together. This sense of unity is also wonderfully represented in several species of cetaceans, including Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). These extremely well documented cetaceans are known to be very selective of their companions and often establish friendships that can last a lifetime.
The selection of their companions is comparable to how we choose our friends and these choices are so important that they aid the survival of the animals. In contrast to humans, however, bottlenose dolphins prefer to keep friendships with conspecifics of the same gender and this has several implications. For males, good friends may help in successfully mating with more females and surviving confrontations with other groups of males. Good friends amongst females, on the other hand, help secure the survival of calves as well as ensure their best education. Strong female friends can also help shield their companions from aggressive males and protect the calves against potential predators.
Friendships amongst dolphins even stretch across the species boundary. Bottlenose dolphins are often seen in the company of Short-finned pilots whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), leaving us wonder whether the individuals of the two species may be friends (or at least acquaintances). Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) are known to form enormous pods, known as superposes, with the equally beautiful Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). Such togetherness is essential to the survival of all individuals and is beyond exemplary for us humans.
We hope all our ladies had a fantastic women’s day and encourage all our guests (male or female) to follow the dolphins example and hold on tight to their good friends.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
13:30 Bottlenose Dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins
16:00 Bottlenose Dolphins