New observations, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B by a world team of researchers from the Universities of Western Australia and Bristol, provide perception into the significance of physical and vocal coordination in alliance forming animals.
In humans, synchronized actions can lead to elevated feelings of bonding, foster cooperation and diminish the perceived menace of rivals. Outside of humans, only a few animals coordinate both vocal signals and physical movement when working collectively.
The study utilized long-term acoustic data collected from the famous population of dolphins in Shark Bay, Western Australia, to indicate that allied male dolphins match the tempo of their partner’s calls when working with each other, and would sometimes even produce their calls in sync.
It was previously thought that only humans used both bodily and verbal synchronized actions to strengthen bonds and enhance the cooperative effort.
Lead writer Bronte Moore, who executed the research while working at UWA’s College of Biological Sciences, stated: “Allied male bottlenose dolphins are also well-known for this kind of behavior and can kind alliances that may last for many years.
The research showed that male bottlenose dolphins not only synchronize their actions but also coordinate their vocal behavior when cooperatively working in alliances.
Such behavior suggests this would possibly assist scale down rigidity between the males in a context that requires them to cooperate efficiently.