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... Dolphins make generous partners Dolphins make generous partners

6 December 2007

When it comes to wooing your mate through the art of gift-giving, who would have thought that dolphins were in on the act.

New research has shown that, in order to attract a mate, dolphins present their potential suitor with objects that they find in the water.

This sexual display, researchers in the Brazilian Amazon discovered, saw male dolphins bring gifts such as weeds to their mate.

And the research also indicated that dolphins who brought most gifts were the best fathers.

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the National Institute of Amazonian Research found that the behaviour was found only in isolated populations, suggesting that it has evolved rather than being instinctive.

Michael Krutzen, one of the researchers on the project, told New Scientist: "I'm now convinced this behaviour is social learning - and from that point of view, you can call it a culture."ADNFCR-1043-ID-18384392-ADNFCR