Re: "Baby-sitters"

From: Cathy Schaeff (schaeff@american.edu)
Date: Tue Dec 18 2001 - 08:51:30 EST


Hi,

Toothed whales tend to be more social than baleen whales and so you are more likely to find examples among the toothed species of whales and dolphins (orcas or killer whales are dolphins), although I haven't been able to find any concrete numbers. Other examples of helping behavior have also been observed.

Cathy Schaeff
  -----Original Message-----
  From: suer osenthal <suerosenthal@mminternet.com>
  To: schaeff@american.edu <schaeff@american.edu>; pita@whale.wheelock.edu <pita@whale.wheelock.edu>
  Date: Monday, December 17, 2001 1:22 PM
  Subject: "Baby-sitters"

  I know that some species of whales, such as sperm whales, are highly social and mothers baby-sit each others calves. I've also read that when a baby beluga is born, a female "apprentice" or "baby-sitter" will help with the care and protection of the calf for the first few days. How common is this among other whale species?



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