A new study has shed more light on the social networks that dolphins form. Researchers observing a group of dolphins in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon have found that dolphins, just like us, hang out with friends in ‘gangs’:
The six year study revealed that the dolphins would mix with ‘friends’ in specific areas of the lagoon and would also avoid individuals they don’t like. Experts found that the shape and geography of the 156 mile long lagoon on the Atlantic Coast of Florida seemed to influence the social dynamics of the group too. Elizabeth Murdoch Titcomb, one of the research biologist involved in the study explained that those groups of dolphins that occupy the narrowest stretches of the lagoon have the most compact social networks, similar to humans who live in small towns and have fewer people with whom to interact.
It’s hoped study could shed light on how dolphin social networks transfer information, breeding behaviour and even diseases.