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Never annoy a dolphin, he’ll remember what you did twenty years later

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A study of male bottlenose dolphins shows they are more cooperative with dolphins that have been nice to them in the past.

By John Bilstein

1 Dolphins have the highest brain to body ratio of any animal. Only humans have more brain per pound of body size. This means dolphins are really smart. They’re excellent at playing all sorts of games, and experiments have shown that, much like dogs, they can understand complex commands.

2 Each dophin has its own signature whistle, similar to the way each person has a name. Dolphins seem to have individual personalities like humans do. And they are very sociable animals. They even make friends with large whales, especially humpbacks, who often help protect dolphin calves from shark attacks. Some dolphins have been caught on camera playing really silly jumping and diving games with their big cousins. And now a study has shown that, like most of us, dolphins pick their buddies from among those that have been nice to them.

3 A team of researchers from the University of Bristol under Dr Stephanie King found that male bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia, responded strongly to calls from old friends. However, the study also showed that male dolphins will only work together with other animals that have helped them in the past. Dolphins that didn’t help them earlier in life will be ignored. (…)

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0 – 1 to annoy s.o. jdn. ärgern – marine life Meereslebewesen – study Studie – male männlich – bottlenose dolphin Großer Tümmler – cooperative kooperativ  – brain to body ratio Anteil der Hirnmasse im Verhältnis zur Körpergröße – human Mensch – body size Körpergröße – command Befehl

2 signature whistle charakteristischer Pfeiflaut – similar ähnlich – to seem scheinen – individual personality eigenständige Persönlichkeit – sociable gesellig – to make friends with s.o. sich mit jmd. anfreunden – whale Wal – humpback (whale) Buckelwal – protect beschützen – dolphin calf Delphinjunges – shark attack Haiattacke – to get caught on camera gefilmt werden – diving Tauch- – buddy Kumpel

3 researcher Forscher(in) – to respond strongly to s.th. stark auf etw. reagieren – call Ruf – however allerdings – to ignore ignorieren; nicht beachten