Sperm Whales Adopt Deformed Dolphin
Researchers have recorded the friendly interaction of a group of sperm whales with a deformed bottlenose dolphin
The footage below shows a bottlenose dolphin with a spinal malformation interaction with a group of sperm whales off the coast of Pico Island, Azores and is the first friendly interspecies interaction involving sperm whales to be recorded.
The extremely rare event was described in detail in the scientific journal 'Aquatic Mammals', available HERE.
Alexander Wilson, co-author of the paper, says that although mixed species groups are a well-known phenomenon in cetaceans, little is known about their purpose.
'They are thought to convey a variety of benefits to the species involved including antipredator, foraging, or social benefits among others,' he explained.
'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."