‘Whales’ and dolphins may work together

dolphins and whalesFalse killer whales and bottlenose dolphins in New Zealand form long-term partnerships that might help them fend off predators or find food, researchers suggest.

Masters student Jochen Zaeschmar, and colleagues, from Massey University’s Coastal-Marine Research Group, report their findings in a recent issue of Mammal Review. “There is a long-term association between, not just the two species, but between actual individuals,” says Zaeschmar.

False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are actually a rare type of dolphin that are sometimes found together with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). But, until now there has been little research to investigate whether this association is just a matter of coincidence, or whether there issomething more to it.

“The first time I ever saw them together I was intrigued straight away because it seemed to be not random,” says Zaeschmar. “They were so happy in each others’ company. It was almost like it was one species.” False killer whales are three times the volume and two times the length of bottle nose dolphins and are jet black rather than grey. Via ‘Whales’ and dolphins may work together

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