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StartScience NewsBottlenose dolphins can determine mates by tasting their urine

Bottlenose dolphins can determine mates by tasting their urine

We already knew that bottlenose dolphins recognise one another via their signature whistles, however now it appears the style of their urine additionally performs a job


20 Might 2022

Bottlenose dolphins

A pair of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates) within the Pacific Ocean

Andrey Nekrasov/Alamy

Bottlenose dolphins can recognise acquainted people simply by tasting their urine, much like how the scent of a good friend’s fragrance will be a part of our psychological illustration of them.

Jason Bruck at Stephen F. Austin State College in Texas and his colleagues discovered that bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates) spent about 3 times longer sampling water that contained urine collected from acquainted dolphins in contrast with unfamiliar ones, suggesting they recognised their mates’ distinctive urine tastes.

This sampling concerned “opening their mouths and operating their tongues via the water the place we poured the urine in entrance of them”, says Bruck.

Bottlenose dolphins are additionally recognized to determine one another via signature whistles that they create early in life. The newest discovering signifies they’ll recognise one another in a couple of manner – both via style or sound.

Apparently, the dolphins have been discovered to research areas for longer after they might style a good friend’s urine and concurrently hear their whistle performed via a speaker, in contrast with when the whistle of one other recognized particular person was performed.

It suggests they’ve ideas of particular person mates of their minds that join their distinctive style and sound, says Bruck. That is much like how we’ve psychological representations of our mates that combine a number of parts just like the scent of their fragrance and the sound of their voice.

“Whereas that may sound straightforward to do for a human, animals don’t all the time try this,” says Bruck.

With the ability to determine different dolphins via urine is beneficial as a result of it hangs round, he says. “If the urine cue can persist, then one other dolphin would have the ability to detect that and decide if a previous ally or enemy is within the space,” says Bruck. One other benefit is with the ability to detect potential mates, he says.

Dolphins generally examine one another’s genitals, together with throughout courtship, which can present a chance to pattern one another’s urine, says Bruck.

We all know they have to style one another’s urine quite than scent it as a result of they don’t have useful scent methods, he says.

At this stage, bottlenose dolphins are the one recognized species that may determine acquainted people primarily based on style alone. Different kinds of dolphins could do the identical factor, however this may have to be explored in future analysis, says Bruck.

Journal reference: Science Advances, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abm7684

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