The culture of whales & dolphins

Whales and dolphins have culture, live in societies, and even play!

Whales and dolphins are intelligent, social mammals, just like us. They socialize, communicate, play, live in families, and pass on knowledge to their children and their friends.


Like us, whales and dolphins are intelligent beings, capable of experiencing pleasure and suffering pain.

Like us, many live in complex social groups, some pass on culture through generations, engage in play and grieve the loss of family and friends. Understanding and appreciating this social complexity is essential to ensure that whale and dolphin populations not only survive, but thrive.

How much do we really know about them?

Scientists around the world are constantly surprised by whales and dolphins, the complexity of their social lives, and their incredible communication skills and intelligence.

We have so much to learn – about these amazing individuals, and about compassion for the other species with which we share our blue planet.

  • There is clear scientific evidence that, like humans, some whales and dolphins are highly intelligent.
  • Many socialize and  live in complex societies.
  • Some exhibit play behavior.
  • There is evidence that some species, including orcas, grieve for their dead.
  • Some species have cultural behaviors, which they can learn from their family and friends.

Some species possess brain cells known as spindle neurons, believed to be associated with empathy and emotional intelligence.

Some individuals have specific roles to play within their communities as leaders and innovators,– just like us.



Make a difference

Join our team  - no matter which way you choose, your commitment helps whales, dolphins, and our shared planet.

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Humpback whale spyhop


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Bottlenose dolphin calf


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Breaching North Atlantic right whale


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Orca spyhop


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