Wild! Sperm Whales Adopt Dolphin with Deformed Spine

Posted: January 23, 2013  |  By: Laura T. Coffey [Today]

If the ocean were a cocktail party, your average bottlenose dolphin would be hamming it up near the bar, fetching drinks for other marine mammals and regaling them with funny stories. Your average sperm whale would hover quietly near the pretzel bowl, keeping a low profile and avoiding eye contact with that obnoxious dolphin.

The usual aloofness between the two animals explains why researchers were astonished to stumble upon a most unusual sighting near the Azores in the North Atlantic Ocean: a pod of sperm whales that appeared to have accepted a lone bottlenose dolphin calf into their group.

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