Dolphins indulge in elite societies and cliques just like humans do, scientists find

Posted on August 5, 2012

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(NaturalNews) One of the smartest mammals on the planet apart from human beings,

A pod of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins in t... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

dolphins have long fascinated scientists because of their incredible intellectual abilities, which include things like their amazing aptness at solving problems, planning ahead, and even experiencing emotions. And a new study published in the journal Nature Communications adds further insight into the complexity of dolphins, having found that, just like humans, dolphins tend to form elite social groups, and prefer the company of other dolphins who share the same skills as them.

For 22 years, Janet Mann and her colleagues from Georgetown Universitystudied the behavioral habits of bottlenose dolphins living in Australia’s Shark Bay to learn more about how they interact socially. The team observed in particular 36 dolphins that had learned how to use sea sponges on their noses to protect them from injury while foraging, as well as 69 other dolphins living in the same area that had not learned the technique.

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