Digitaljournal ·

Scientists studying bottlenose dolphins that use sponges as tools to protect their sensitive beaks has shown that social behavior can shape the genetic makeup of an animal population in the wild. The study has been carried out on dolphins in Shark Bay in Western Australia. With many of these bottlenose dolphins, the mammals put conical marine sponges on their rostrums (beaks) when they forage on the sea floor. This is a non-genetic skill that calves apparently learn from their mother.