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Posted Tue Jun 8 2010: from CBC:
Humpback whales form lasting friendships
Female humpback whales appear to form lasting friendships, with pairs searching out each other every summer in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a finding scientists say shows they are more social than previously thought. The discovery may also mean that commercial whaling breaks apart long-established social groups. The whales spend most of the year on their own while they migrate, coming together with males only briefly to breed. But the females return to the Gulf each summer, pairing up with the same female each time, says Christian Ramp, a researcher with the Mingan Island Cetacean Study, a non-profit marine research organization in St. Lambert, Que.... Until now, baleen whales were not thought to be particularly social, but this most recent research shows humpback friendships lasting as long as six years.... The researchers say the most likely explanation for the annual gathering is co-operation in finding food, which might explain why females "with the most stable and long-term associations also had the highest reproductive output," the researchers write.
[Read more stories about: marine mammals, rights of nature]
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'Doc Michael says:
Hey, Japan and Iceland -- how about we "scientifically" murder a few females to see how sad their friends get?

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