Stunning Video of Gray Whales and Dolphins Swimming Together
In the last days of 2019, drone footage captured a pod of dolphins twirling amongst a group of gray whales off the coast of California. Despite the significant differences between these two species, they appeared to get along famously that day – and this isn’t the only time this interspecies behavior has been observed.
Since December, gray whales have been showing up along California’s coast as they travel along their migration route. This awe-inspiring journey, from their winter calving grounds in Mexico to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic, is the longest migration of any animal on Earth.
As gray whales travel, it appears as though they can pick up friends along the way. In this case, the whales were joined by a cheerful-looking pod of common dolphins. The footage below shows the dolphins lazily swirling around the whales, who periodically turn onto their sides, perhaps to get a better view of their dolphin companions.
Dolphins are often seen cavorting with other species, including humpback whales and seals, yet scientists don’t have an answer for why these species intermingle. Surely, it can’t be to anyone’s evolutionary advantage to risk spreading disease or injury, such as a whale potentially killing a dolphin with the flick of a flipper.
Perhaps the answer lies in their mutual understanding and respect for one another, a tolerance fostered by their lives in the sea, which remains so mysterious to humans. Whatever the reason, we could all learn from this lesson of tolerance and compassion.
Learn more about issues affecting dolphins and whales here.