But cetaceans are evolutionarily distant from humans, “and their underwater world might as well be considered a different planet when compared to land we inhabit,” he states. So staring at the processes that underlie the evolution of cetacean cultures might help researchers figure out what happens because of physical conditions like standing on land, or just being similarly built, and just what factors directly influence prosocial and cultural behaviors.

The research discovered that cetaceans had complex alliances and communications, performed and labored together for mutual benefit, and may work along with other species, like humans. Some also provide individual signifiers, sounds that set them aside from others, and may mimic the sounds of others. Additionally, it discovered that brain size predicted the breadth of social and cultural behaviors of those marine creatures (though environmental factors, like prey diversity and latitudinal range, also performed a job). They concluded there is a tie between cetacean encephalization, social structure, and group size.

Read next: Humans needed to evolve to understand octopus awareness.

Schultz doesn’t ever anticipate finding complex cetacean metropolitan areas but doesn’t eliminate other exciting new breakthroughs. “It holds true we don’t completely understand their world or the way they change up the marine atmosphere,” she states. “We have only a pinhole view in to the complexity of animal lives.”

That stated, cetaceans offer unique insights precisely because they’re so alien to all of us. Muthukrishna studies the evolution of, and also the processes that underlie, human culture. Learning more about the salt water evaporates in other creatures can illuminate our knowledge of human behavior, he believes, and whales and dolphins could offer unique insights.

A persons brain has changed and expanded over millennia to support our ever-more-complex needs and individuals in our societies. This method is called “encephalization” and it has provided us with the large brain we have to communicate, cooperate, achieve consensus, empathize, and socialize. This is also true for cetaceans, like whales and dolphins, it appears.

“The trouble with using primates…is that people have no idea if what we should find is due to the transformative logic we’re proposing or since these features are actually contained in an ancestor,” he told Quarta movement. “For example, ours and chimp ancestors might have resided in close groups coupled with fairly large brains for unrelated reasons.”

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