shoving his bottlenose dolphin sister out of the way
August 6, 2019 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Researchers Document First Known Case of Dolphin Mom Adopting Whale Calf [Smithsonian.com]

Scientists "observed a bottlenose dolphin caring for a young melon-headed whale over a period of more than three years. This apparent adoption, unusual in and of itself, was made all the more striking by the fact that the bottlenose already had a biological baby; typically, dolphin mothers only care for one calf at a time."

Abstract of article in Ethology - Cross‐genus adoptions in delphinids: One example with taxonomic discussion
posted by readinghippo (5 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
"The melon-headed male"

I have to make sure Mrs Abehammerb doesn't see this moniker. She's vicious about my hat-stretcher.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:18 PM on August 6, 2019 [12 favorites]


"We also propose that the adoptee’s persistence in initiating and maintaining an association with the adult female bottlenose dolphin could have played a major role in the adoption’s ultimate success..."

*sigh* "Fine, you can be a dolphin too, just stop moaning!!"
posted by captain afab at 4:18 PM on August 6, 2019 [10 favorites]


TIL: Female bottlenoses have been known to kidnap calves of other species—likely in an attempt to foster unfulfilled maternal instincts—but such relationships rarely last.

Dolphins are fascinating.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:51 PM on August 6, 2019 [6 favorites]


It's sad that her dolphin baby disappeared though.
posted by Bee'sWing at 5:21 PM on August 6, 2019 [3 favorites]


That one whale who's got a higher-than-normal voice that's destined to be alone forever: "Oh come on!"
posted by Space Coyote at 6:42 PM on August 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


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