Social factors play vital role in dolphins’ life

Like humans, bottlenose dolphins also get influenced by social factors, a study of dolphins at Shark Bay in Western Australia revealed.

Researchers found that those dolphins who live in the company of experienced and good mothers are themselves become successful mothers.

Celine Frere, who led the study, said that apart from genes, social factors also played vital role in the reproductive fitness of the female dolphins.

Commening on the findings, Frere said, "We found that genetic effects only account for 16% of variation in calving success amongst the female dolphins, whereas social factors are a much stronger determining factor
- they are almost three times as important as having good genes."

The team of researchers used calving success as a gauge to determine the influence of social factors in dolphins' life. They studied how the inherited genetics characteristics and social factors influence the reproductive success of bottlenose dolphins.

The study found that a new mother's success at raising a calf depended more on her female friends rather than her relatives.

The findings were based on analysis of twenty-five years of observational data from a group of fifty-two female dolphins which detailed the number of claves, and whom they associated with.