Life in the wild is fraught with danger. Animals face predators, pollutants, potential starvation and more. However, many animals survive by collaborating in some surprising and clever ways. Today, on Anti-Bullying Day (also known as Pink Shirt Day), we can learn a lot from animals about the benefits of working together.
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), for example, are masters at cooperation. Together, humpbacks work to catch herring by encircling a school from below and simultaneously releasing columns of bubbles. Herring will not cross the “net” of bubbles, which allows the humpbacks to surge upwards and gobble up mouthfuls of trapped herring.
Many other marine and aquatic animals protect themselves from predators by collaborating. Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) swim together in pods that can exceed 100 members in order to deter predators that would like to make a quick meal of an isolated beluga.
Frogs also seek safety in numbers, which is why they often reproduce in large groups. By laying massive quantities of eggs, they ensure that some eggs will survive the predatory threats lurking in their habitat.
Sometimes, species even intermingle in order to survive in the wild. Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) and Dall’s porpoises (Phocoenoides dalli) have been known to travel with resident killer whales (Orcinus orca). Whether it is to snatch up table scraps from the whales or to seek protection from predators, it is not uncommon to see dolphins and porpoises travelling with orcas.
On Anti-Bullying Day, let’s celebrate cooperation, collaboration and having each other’s back. Show your support by wearing a pink shirt on February 27.