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Whale culture

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.

Many live in complex social groups, communicate in different dialects, pass on culture through generations, engage in play and even 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 behaviour, which may help them learn key skills, or may even just be fun
  • There is evidence that some species grieve for their dead
  • Some species have cultural ways of behaving, which they pass on to their offspring and their peers.

Some species possess brain cells known as spindle neurons, believed to be associated with empathy and emotional intelligence. People used to think that these cells were only found in the brains of humans and some other primates.

Some individuals have specific roles to play within their communities as leaders and innovators, just like us. And, like us, they have the right to live in a world where they are safe and free.

The more we discover, the more we are inspired and humbled. The more we learn, the more our human-centric view of the world is challenged as we realize our responsibilities towards other intelligent beings with whom we share our blue planet.


Make a difference

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

Save the whales, save the world.

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Bottlenose dolphin calf breaching with its whole body out of the water


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Breaching North Atlantic right whale


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