Dolphin friends have synchronized breathing, but because of this they can die

(ORDO NEWS) — Dolphins continue to amaze humanity. Now a study has shown that successful communication between relatives can lead to infection with a deadly virus. But why?

A human has half the convolutions of a dolphin

Many have heard about the intelligence and increased sociality of dolphins, in comparison with other animals.

But who knew that this positive trait has a downside – friendliness can lead to the death of an animal. Dolphins with established attachment to each other, it turns out, synchronize their breathing.

This, in turn, leads to the following: the animals simultaneously emerge above the water to take a breath of air with their blowhole on the crown. However, this social behavior is not as safe as it might seem.

“Synchronized breathing among dolphins is common among close friends or, for example, mothers and calves.

Practically, this is a special way to confirm the status of relationships that are so important for these highly intelligent mammals.

We humans can think of it like a handshake or a hug in our society,” explains one of the American scientists, dolphin researchers, Janet Mann.

What Scientists Have Found

Observing 2,000 dolphins, the American group found that when they breathe together on the surface, the animals exhale small drops, which are then inhaled by their neighbors.

And this already contributes to the spread of various diseases in the population. It’s similar to airborne infection among humans, Mann explains.

Scientists and experts from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believe that such a mechanism of social and physiological synchronization caused the spread of the deadly cetacean morbillivirus (a virus of the measles and smallpox family – Ed.) on the Atlantic coast in 2013-2015.

So, due to an outbreak of the disease, about 1.6 thousand dolphins washed up on beaches from New York to Florida.

Thus, scientists believe that the virus has claimed the lives of almost 20 thousand animals, due to which the population in the region has halved.


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