Learning by Group: How Dolphins learn Important Skills from Peers

By Jjpn47 | Sci-J | 1 Jul 2020

A study Published at the Journal Cell has found that Dolphins learn to hunt prey by the help of their peers.


"Our study shows that the foraging behavior 'shelling' -- where dolphins trap fish inside empty seashells -- spreads through social learning among close associates," said the lead researcher Sonya Wild in a news release by Cell Press.

Previosly, Dolphins are thought to be learn this behaviour from their mothers which Researchers refer to as vertical social transmission.

The new study suggests the opposite, Dolphins observe from their peers and adopt it.

Results was based on a survey from 2007 to 2018 where in the 5,278 groups, 42 shellings are documented and performed by 19 individuals.

Dolphins laughing?

Then the researchers perfomed a social network analysis which investigates the social network, genetic relationship and environment inorder to understand why the dolphins has done the behaviour.

According to Michael Kruten in the University of Zurich has found that there are some similarities on how Cetaceans (like Dolphins and Whales) and great apes passed their Cultural traits from one generation to another.

The research is important in understanding on how Dolphins adapt to behaviours in changing environments and why they are able to better survive by learning from each other.

Sources if you're doubting:

Cell Press/Science Daily: Dolphins learn foraging skills from peers

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