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Man’s New Best Friend

Bottlenose dolphinDogs may have been rounding up sheep and cattle for centuries, but it appears they just got one-upped. Bottlenose dolphins are helping fishermen in Brazil not only by circling schools of fish but also signaling when and where to throw the nets. The dolphins round up mullet, steer them toward the fishing boats, then slap their heads or tails against the surface of the water when it’s time for the catch. Incredibly, the crafty mammals started performing this service without prompting or training of any kind. Although the dolphins do get to eat fish that escape, scientists believe they’re motivated more by the act of cooperation rather than simple rewards.

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