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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:09 PM

Wild Dolphins Observed Bringing Gifts to Humans

Wild Dolphins Observed Bringing Gifts to Humans
Stephen Messenger - TreeHugger.com
December 28, 2012



<snip>

While it's already well known that dolphins rank among the most intelligent creatures on the planet, new research is suggesting that they just might be one of the most magnanimous too.

A team of biologists recently published a study: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berg/anthroz/2012/00000025/00000004/art00001 examining dozens of fascinating cases of inter-species generosity between dolphin and human, all taking place along the shore of Australia's Tangalooma Island Resort. According to their findings, wild dolphins have been observed bearing gifts, such as dead "eels, tuna, squid, an octopus" to wading humans on 23 separate occasions.

In the report, which appeared earlier this month in the journal Anthrozoös, researchers describe the rare gestures as "an established but infrequent part of the culture of the provisioned dolphins at Tangalooma," yet the reasons for the gift-giving remain unclear. The wild dolphins are said to be frequent visitors to the resort and appear to be accustomed to receiving food from beachgoers; it has been speculated that the animals might either be giving in return, or consider humans too inadequate at hunting and in need of a free meal.

From the blog EarthSky likens this behavior of food sharing to that occasionally seen in our closest feline companions: "Domesticated cats that have a tendency to drop prey items at their owner’s feet. inter-species food sharing in wild animal populations has not been widely documented in the scientific literature."

<snip>

Link: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/wild-dolphins-observed-gifting-fish-humans.html







13 replies, 1664 views

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Reply Wild Dolphins Observed Bringing Gifts to Humans (Original post)
WillyT Jan 2013 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #1
arcane1 Jan 2013 #2
tama Jan 2013 #13
RKP5637 Jan 2013 #3
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #4
silverweb Jan 2013 #5
tama Jan 2013 #6
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #11
superpatriotman Jan 2013 #7
malaise Jan 2013 #8
catchnrelease Jan 2013 #9
farminator3000 Jan 2013 #10
Buns_of_Fire Jan 2013 #12

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:15 PM

1. Great post...Thanks so much. n/t

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:16 PM

2. How cute!!!

Though the EarthSky blog clearly misinterprets the feline/human relationship

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:05 PM

13. We are just big children

 

that need adult feline care...

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:18 PM

3. When I was a child our cats used to bring us all sorts of gifts, showing up with mice,

whatever, and presenting them at our feet. I think it was in appreciation of all of the love, food and attention they received from us, and they were sharing in the family. My present cat refuses to eat unless all of us sit down and eat together, waiting until the last person is seated.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:20 PM

4. they help fishermen in Brazil, too!

"Through highly synchronized behavior with humans, cooperative dolphins in Laguna drive mullet schools towards a line of fishermen and 'signal,' via stereotyped head slaps or tail slaps, when and where fishermen should throw their nets," wrote lead author Fabio Daura-Jorge of the Federal University of Santa Catarina.with colleagues.
http://news.discovery.com/animals/helpful-dolphins-120502.html

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:21 PM

5. Inducements?

Getting our attention so maybe we'll stop trashing their ocean homes?

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:27 PM

6. "inter-species food sharing"

 

Like plants and mushrooms, bacteria of animal digestive systems etc. symbiotic relations?

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Response to tama (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:45 PM

11. check out the show Mutant Planet

or anteaters and termites in south america-

the anteater has to switch termite mounds every 2 minutes or so, because the termites attack when it breaks in, so-

anteater gets fed, mound and food source aren't destroyed...

it's a cool show...lemurs, kangaroos, snow monkeys...

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:29 PM

7. K&R!

Awesome!

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:30 PM

8. This is lovely

Thanks

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:37 PM

9. The first thing I thought of

Last edited Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:47 PM - Edit history (1)

'So long and thanks for all the fish' Maybe these are their parting gifts...uh oh!

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:39 PM

10. from the Earth and Sky link

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:54 PM

12. I once had a pet Doberman who'd occasionally leave me presents.

Once, a dead snake (later identified as a dead cottonmouth). Twice, a dead possum (later identified as a dead possum).

She'd sit there and smile her little doggie smile (with big doggie teeth).

I always interpreted it to mean "See? Keep in mind I can do the same to YOU. So where's my Jerky Treat?"

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