When couples go out on a date, guys usually give their girl a gift — y’know, a bouquet of flowers, some candy, or jewelry — something to let her know that she’s worth the extra special effort. It’s a traditional tactic that rarely fails to impress.
Researchers have learned that things are much the same in the dolphin world too!
According to some recent articles on Environmental Graffiti and Tursiops.com, Drs. Tony Martin & Vera da Silva’s 3-year study of 6,026 groups, or pods, of dolphins in the Brazilian Amazon revealed that dolphin males often present their dates with gifts (seaweed, twigs, or other found objects) to better their chances of mating.
What’s more, DNA tests on adults & calves provided evidence that the dolphin males who most often carried objects to their mates were the most successful fathers. So, it seems that gift-giving is a winning tactic among our cetacean pals, too!
Like the recent discovery that dolphins learn to use tools, object presentation to a mate is considered yet another sign of culture, or complex non-instinctual socially-acquired skills which are learned from others.