The largest network of alliances Known outside of humans

July 22, 2023

It opened its doors on July 12, 2015 at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise Aquarium in Yokohama, a suburb of Tokyo. She was born in July 2015 and became the first dolphin born in Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in four years.

Scientists have found Australian dolphins that form the “largest alliance network outside of humans” in Shark Bay, north of Perth.

A group of 121 male dolphins are forming alliances to mate with females, according to NewsWeek, while some groups appeared to have rivalries with other dolphins.

Research has already shown that dolphins are incredibly intelligent animals, fast learners and problem solvers. Although they are not the only species to possess these abilities, more and more evidence shows that they share several key traits with humans.

Researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA), the University of Bristol, the University of New South Wales and the University of Massachusetts conducted a study on the largest network of alliances known to man outside, which is not only strategic, but multi-level.

Alliances between Australian dolphins

Study co-author Simon Allen, an assistant researcher at the Uwa and the UWA Ocean Institute, explains that a number of animals usually “team up” in competitions for Rank or access to females.

“Think of lions, for example, who usually ally with relatives and, when mature, try to overthrow an established alliance to seize a pride of women,” he said, adding that some primates form alliances that usually have access to mating rights.

“The male dolphins of Shark Bay, on the other hand, form alliances in a vast open social network.”

The results, published in PNAS, show a surprising matter of convergence in dolphin societies similar to the ability of humans to establish strategic cooperative relationships at several social levels. These results show strategic alliances between groups formed in dolphins and humans between unrelated individuals and likely to be selected for a better social perception.

The team is composed of Co-authors Stephanie King, assistant researcher at the UWA School of Biological Sciences and the UWA Ocean Institute, Richard C. Connor from Florida International University and Michael Krützen from the University of Zurich.

Types Of alliance between dolphins

The first-order alliances allowed the men to catch female dolphins for hours or weeks, depending on the team, while the second- and third-order alliances stole females from other groups and defended themselves against theft attempts.

However, the researchers report that men with stronger ties to a third Alliance were able to protect women for a longer period of time, confirming an earlier hypothesis that men have intergroup alliances for this reason.

As for the size, the expert said that second-rate alliances with four to 14 individual members are widely distributed over a territory. Meanwhile, third-order allies with a woman can be important for salvation If they are striked by another alliance for their wife.

In addition, it was believed that these alliances are an integral part of the reproductive success of dolphins.

“Here we see three remarkable levels of alliance formation in a Population of a species different from ours,” Allen noted, adding that in addition, it shows some similarities between dolphins and humans.

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