Nothing makes us melt more than friendships in the animal kingdom. Just like us humans, animals can form strong bonds and attachments to one another — and there’s even science to explain how this works. A study published yesterday, June 7th, in the journal Current Biology found that male bottlenose dolphins form intimate bonds and hold “hands” (aka fins) with each other, much like human BFFs.
Researchers studied 17 adult male dolphins living in Australia’s Shark Bay and came to the conclusion that they have complex relationships, and even use unique whistles to distinguish themselves from one another. Scientists already knew that dolphins appear to hold conversations and have “names” for other members of their pods. But this finding means that they’re the only animals besides humans to keep their individual names once they form other close friendships.
National Geographic reports that dolphins’ bonds are often so tight that they show physical affection. Sometimes, they even swim with their fins on top of each other — just like they’re holding hands.
And yes, there’s a video.
We can’t handle the cute!
Dolphins aren’t the only critters who hold hands. Sea otters reportedly hang onto each other while sleeping to keep from drifting apart.
Excuse us while we go hug our BFFs. Or at the very least, text them that dolphin vid.