Research scientists at the University of Massachusetts have concluded that male dolphins conduct intense social relationships and are found to engage in extensive bisexuality.
The researchers studied more than 120 bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia, and discovered relationships of a considerably more complex nature than previously thought. Co-author of the study, Richard Connor, told Discovery News that the dolphins engaged in extensive bisexuality, combined with periods of exclusive homosexuality.
“I work on the male dolphins and their social lives are very intense. It seems there is constant drama. I have often thought, as I watched their complicated alliance relationships, that their social lives would be mentally and physically exhausting, and I’m glad I’m not a dolphin.”
Mr Connor’s team also discovered that dolphins pair-up or swim in groups of three in order to herd individual females during mating season.
The results ultimately found that most male dolphins are also members of “second order alliances” which contain between four and 14 males. One gang, with seven members, has been swimming together since 1995.
Mr Connor said that though the males are “capable of serious aggression,” they rarely fought and were not exceptionally territorial.