Wild dolphins in Australia have been seen giving gifts to humans

Nature lovers will definitely find this interesting.

Wild dolphins near a resort in Australia have been seen giving dolphin-gifts to humans on 23 occasions. The gifts are wrapped, and they’re made up of living sea life, but they’re still gifts.

Discovery News:

On 23 occasions over the past several years, wild dolphins were observed giving gifts to humans at the Tangalooma Island Resort in Australia. The gifts included eels, tuna, squid, an octopus and an assortment of many other types of different fin fish. While these gifts might not be your choice for a gift to find underneath your Christmas tree, some of the items that were offered to humans are highly valued food sources for cetaceans such as dolphins….


Dolphins via Shutterstock

In 1998, an adult male dolphin named Fred was observed giving a dead moray eel to one of the staff members. Since that first occurrence of gift giving behavior among the Tangalooma dolphins, staff members have documented an additional 22 other events.Dolphins of diverse ages and both sexes engaged in the gift-giving behavior, and scientists are not entirely sure of what is motivating their behavior. Food sharing in animals is often motivated by an urge to play, a desire to reciprocate food sharing or the belief that the recipient of the food is an incompetent hunter. Based on their detailed observations, the scientists think that gift giving among the wild dolphins at the Tangalooma Island Resort was likely a form of play behavior.

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  • Sweetie

    If that were true, they’d find a way to get others to do the work for them so they could use the results for lobbying.

  • dcinsider

    Did they give the receipt, too. Polite gift givers always include the receipt.

  • FatRat

    Cool video, thanks for posting it!

  • jane

    While on a school marine biology class in the FL keys…after spending time in the water…we gathered on deck for class…a dolphin repeatedly splashed us as if to get us back into the water. As we were leaving the area…it kept jumping out of the water…watching us go. Something I will never forget.

  • That any creature still likes humans after all mankind has/is/will do to their home is amazing.

  • citizen_spot

    Maybe they are giving food offerings to the pollution gods in hope that they will stop killing the oceans.

  • J.P. Melle

    Why do these scientists have to give a reason for the gifts. Can’t they just be nice dolphins. They sound like nice dolphins.

  • CattyNineTails

    Clearly, the dolphins are imitating human behavior — they’re lobbying for stronger EPA enforcement.

  • JamesR

    Leopard seals in Antarctica also gift: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxa6P73Awcg

    Maybe it’s a Southern thing.

  • I went to Tangalooma years and years ago. Very cool place, and not just for the dolphins. The picture makes the dolphins look like they’re captive, but they aren’t. The dolphins there are completely wild.

  • Jim Olson

    We really need Starfleet to come up with that Universal Translator quickly.

  • Sweetie

    They should have a chat with the bonobos, a species that is being wiped out as we speak for defying the human “Make War Not Love” code.

  • (duplicate post in wrong place…)

  • Seriously cool.

    I watched an episode of ‘Through the Wormhole’ w/Morgan Freeman the other night, and it was about whether we could decipher an alien language that has nothing in common with human languages. One scientist analyzed a simple frequency count of discrete words and sounds — and discovered that dolphin language satisfies the necessary criteria to be considered coherent communication.

    I have no doubt they’re smart. Just not technological. Which itself might also be smart.

  • Jim Olson

    They have larger brains than we do, have sex just to have fun, don’t have war or weapons. Dolphins are the superior life form on this planet.

  • Wonderful

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