Research suggests that whales and dolphins (cetaceans) have social lives much like ours, with tight-knit social groups, complex relationships, regional dialects, and one-to-one chats.
Apparently, this is all thanks to their beautiful large brains.
Susanne Shultz, from the University of Manchester in the UK, says “We know whales and dolphins also have exceptionally large and anatomically sophisticated brains and, therefore, have created a similar marine based culture.” To us humans, that is.
WATCH: Why dolphins live in pods?
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So how exactly are they similar?
The researchers found a long list of behavioural similarities shared with humans, including complex alliance relationships which means they work together for mutual benefit.
They also practice the social transfer of hunting techniques meaning they teach each other how to hunt and how to use tools, also cooperative hunting.
Whales and dolphins were found to use complex vocalisations, including regional group dialects, and have unique signature whistles that act as names.
Other social behaviours observed include social play, cooperation with other species such as humans and alloparenting, which means looking after children that aren’t your own.
WATCH: Curious gray whale wants to be pet.
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So will they ever be able to evolve on the same level as humans?
The short answer is no, dolphins and whales didn’t necessarily get all of the evolutionary breaks that us humans did.
“Unfortunately, they won’t ever mimic our great metropolises and technologies because they didn’t evolve opposable thumbs,” says Shultz.
So it doesn’t look like they will be moving into the neighbourhood anytime soon.