Female Dolphins Need Strong Associations With Successful Dolphin Mothers

Posted in News | November 8, 2010 | Comment Now

Dolphins in the Shark Bay have been being studied for a very long time now; but this observation that’s been made is relatively new. As per a new study, it has been seen that female dolphins of the region are seen to be more successful as mothers if they get the needed support from their female counterparts (friends and relatives).

These researchers ended up analyzing the behavioral aspects of the female dolphins at Shark Bay for over 25 years. A number of genetic samples were also derived from the dolphins here.

Said one of the doctoral students who worked on the project that the genetic and social effects on the concept of reproduction and procreation could be studied using observations that were long-term; and these would have to be conducted on the females of the group. Putting the observations of their relationships with each other could help achieve a collated view on the genetic relationships of that species.

According to this study, the female dolphin’s success as a mother was based to quite an extent on her social association with other female dolphins who had made for successful mothers. If they had successful mothers for relatives or friends, it would mean that they had higher chances of being successful mothers.

The social and genetic effects were seen to be interacting, in the case of these dolphins, in very intriguing ways. If they had successful aunts, mothers and sisters; it could help in boosting the female’s success of calving or the number of successful births. The benefits of the social associates were said to be even more important when it came to the female pairs who were said to be less genetically related. The reasoning behind this sort of an observation still doesn’t seem to be clear; but the truth of the matter is that the female dolphins needed help in order to become successful mothers.

One reason behind this could be the shark predators that were the most common threat to the female dolphins and their calves. It could be possible that the females called upon other females to help in protecting their young ones; and this may help them in being better reproducers.

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