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Sentience

July 19, 2020 - Science Focus

Beluga whales make friends, just like humans

Beluga whales make friends, just like humans
Beluga whale© Photabulous!

As well as spending time with their close relatives, beluga whales also frequently associate with individuals they have no relation to, a study at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has found.

They make friends with other animals outside of their family groups and form communities similar to human societies with social networks, support structures, cooperation and even cultures. These involve interactions between kin and non-kin, the researchers say.

The study brought together decades of research using molecular genetic techniques and field studies spanning 10 locations across the Arctic, from Alaska to Canada and from Russia to Norway.

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