Dolphins also need a little help in finding suitable partners. Since a blind date is out of the question male bottlenose dolphins off the west coast of Australia sometimes help each other find a sexual partner.
Male dolphins who put aside their mutual competitive drift and work together have more success with female dolphins than those who prefer to ‘hunt’ alone. Biologist Jo Wiszniewski discovered this behavior in the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Port Stephens (north of Sydney). She has published her findings in the Journal of Animal Ecology.
It is usually two to four males who form a coalition that can span one season, but also a lifetime. Especially these long-lasting friendships require a certain capacity for tolerance and cooperation, which is a special power in the animal kingdom.
The reproductive advantage of such cooperation is now described by Wiszniewsk. Male dolphins that upkeep many of such friendships, are more successful in their amorous adventures than those who fly solo. The advantage is apparently greater than the risk that another dolphin happens to run off with “their” girl.
Joanna Wiszniewski1, Shannon Corrigan, Luciano B. Beheregaray, & Luciana M. Möller (2011). Male reproductive success increases with alliance size in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) Journal of Animal Ecology : 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01910.x