While researchers have already known for a long time that dolphins associate in the equivalent of human “mum’s clubs”, the significance of this has now been determined in relation to successful reproduction, when weighed against having good genes.
In dolphin “families”, positive social interactions are more than twice as important as good genes in determining successful reproduction
This is the first discovery of interacting genetic and social effects on reproduction in the wild. Research found that both good genes and social interactions matter. Females who have successful relatives and successful “friends” are much better at producing calves than would be expected from simply adding the effects of the relatives and the effects of their peer group.Read more at UNSW