Study published about cetacean gift giving

Article Summary:

The Anthrozoos Journal has published a study into the “gift giving” behavior of a group of wild bottle nose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) at Tangalooma Island Resort in Australia. The “gifts” were freely given by the dolphins to center staff and have included eels, tuna, squid, an octopus and an assortment of many other types of different fin fish. Scientists are not entirely sure of what is motivating their behavior although theories include an urge to play, a desire to reciprocate food sharing or the belief that the recipient of the food is an incompetent hunter. Based on their detailed observations, the scientists think that gift giving among the wild dolphins at the Tangalooma Island Resort was likely a form of play behavior. Interspecies food sharing is very rare amongst wild animals.