In a major study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior has been linked to the size of their brains.

Like other mammals, whales and dolphins have tightly-knit family groups called pods whereby they follow certain social structures and form complex relationships, similar to human societies. The research was a collaboration between scientists at The University of Manchester, The University of British Columbia, Canada, The London School of Economics and Political Science, and Stanford University. A first of its kind, the study has collected and compiled a large dataset from 90 different species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises. The study reveals overwhelming evidence of the animals’ sophisticated social behaviors relative to their brain size and brain expansion (known as encephalization).

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