A new study has found that dolphins whistle to one another as part of male bonding ritual and rely on wingmen to find potential mates.
According to experts at the University of Bristol, bottlenose dolphins can increase their popularity through vocal signals which helps them to maintain relationships with other dolphins rather than relying on physical bonding activities.
A separate study carried out at the University of Zurich also found that that there was a positive correlation between the popularity of dolphins and the ability to find mates.
Findings showed that pods of male dolphins will conspire with one another to outcompete the rival groups over reaching the females, with the most popular male having the highest breeding success.
Lead author Emma Chereskin, a student at the University of Bristol, said: “Many animals, including humans, use tactile contact, touch, to strengthen and reaffirm important relationships.
“But as the number of close social relationships increases, so too do the demands on the time and space available for relationship maintenance through physical contact.
“Male bottlenose dolphins form strategic, multi-level alliances, and we wanted to know how they maintained multiple alliance relationships in large groups.”