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White-Beaked Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) Cooperating with Humans and Showing Altruism Toward Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena)
Abstract: In an odontocete rehabilitation center in the Netherlands, repeated observations were made over several days of interspecific cooperative behavior initiated by three white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris)—that is, mutually beneficial cooperation with humans and altruism toward three harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena). In the first observation (mutually beneficial cooperation), a white-beaked dolphin cooperated on her own initiative with humans to herd a harbor porpoise toward a veterinary treatment/feeding area in the pool. In the second observation (altruism), two recently recovered white-beaked dolphins assisted newly arrived harbor porpoises with swimming. These first recorded examples of interspecific mutually beneficial cooperation and altruism initiated by white-beaked dolphins will help to elucidate the motivation behind such behavior and the potential fitness benefits resulting from it.
Key Words: across species, altruism, behavior, cooperation, inter species, odontocete, social interactions
Page Numbers: 75-82