Add this to the mix of odd animal friendships: a mother whale and her calf were spotted swimming along with a mother dolphin and her calf. The footage, captured via drone by YouTube user Vern Sky-Pro, shows the pair of whales calmly following the path of the dolphins.
The notion of whales and dolphins getting along, even forming friendships, is nothing new. About three years ago, the American Museum of Natural History reported that scientists in Hawaii had observed two separate instances of whales and dolphins playing together. According to the report, the whales would lift the dolphins up and out of the ocean, and the dolphins would then slide back down along the whales and into the water.
Another YouTube clip, posted by user Erin Lundy, shows a whale pursuing a pod of dolphins as though he was just one of their own, and there’s even this remarkable story about of a bottlenose dolphin suffering from a spinal deformity, who had been adopted by a group of sperm whales.
So why exactly do whales and dolphins get along in this way? It’s hard to say, as cross-species friendships can prove to be a bit of a stumper for scientists. It could help to ward off predators by traveling in packs. Perhaps they help one another in scrounging up food. Or maybe they just enjoy each other’s company. Whatever the reason, let’s all just enjoy this serene moment of two families coming together for a delightful swim.