OK, fine — we’re not totally sure that a pod of dolphins forming a life raft to help a dying dolphin breathe is what’s actually happening here. Are we being snookered by the overwhelming desire to anthropomorphize one of our very favorite animals? Sure, maybe. Watch the whole video, though and tell us you don’t think that what you’re seeing is dolphins trying to save — or at least help out — one of their own. It’s very, very hard to do. We should also point out that while the video below is amazing, must-see stuff, it also centers around a dolphin in very ill health, and may thus be NSFW, depending on how comfortable you feel totally crying at work.
The video of long-nosed dolphins is one of many taken by the Cetacean Research Institute during a research trip near South Korea. While combining like some sort of adorable, probably-smarter-than-us aquatic Voltron to make a life raft and try to help another dolphin breathe is unprecedented behavior, it wouldn’t be incredibly surprising if that is the case here. After all, dolphins are highly intelligent and incredibly social animals who have been known to work together to fend off predators in the wild. If they can team up to fight a shark, why not to build a sort of stretcher? It doesn’t seem outside the realm of possibility, and yes, we would really, really like it to be true.
You can take a look at the paper detailing why researchers think this video is of dolphins providing what healthcare they can for one of their number here. What do you all think? Are we seeing things we want to see? Or are we getting a sense that dolphins are even more amazKiller whales, meanwhile, ing than we thought they were, which, for the record, is a lot.
(via New Scientist, video courtesy of CRI)
- The Ukrainian Navy wants combat dolphins wielding head-mounted pistols
- Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is phasing out dolphins in favor of robots
- Killer whales, meanwhile, remain a bunch of sissy mama’s boys