Now here’s something you don’t see every day, Green Monsters: a YouTube clip of two sperm whales swimming peacefully with a bottlenose dolphin.
The team behind this video – who published a research paper on this intriguing inter-species friendship – have stated that “this represents the first time this type of non-agonistic (friendly) interaction has been recorded for sperm whales.” These formidable giants of the sea are not renowned for being cute and cuddly, let’s put it that way!
However, the dolphin – who has suffered a severe spinal malformation – appears to be very happy with his newfound companions.
The authors of the research paper, Alexander Wilson and Jens Krause, said, “Mixed species group are a well-known phenomenon in cetaceans, but difficulties associated with studying these interactions in marine habitats has limited the available amount of data and literature on this topic, particularly with regard to the functional bases of such interactions.”
The researchers concluded, “Based on our observations, we suggest social factors represent the most likely causal mechanism for the described interactions, although foraging and anti-predator mechanisms are also considered.”
In other words, companionship and mutual comfort appear to have been the primary reasons for the relationship between these whales and their dolphin friend. Check out their amazing interaction today!
Image source: Wikimedia Commons