Killer whales: They’re just like us!
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Well, kind of. They might share certain behavioral characteristics with humans and, especially, chimpanzees, according to a recent study published in the American Psychological Association journal.
"The findings may suggest some evolutionary convergence where the personality traits of killer whales and primates are similar because of the advanced cognitive abilities required for complex social interactions," said a press release summarizing the findings.
A photo released Monday seems to bolster that finding. In the image, two orcas are seen touching lips at the Loro Parque zoo in Tenerife, Spain, one of the enclosures used for the study.
The action, grabbing but not piercing each others' tongues, could be how whales make up after an argument.
The study, published last November, was conducted among whales in captivity, as studying whales in the wild could have proven prohibitively difficult. The authors cautioned that captivity may have impacted the animals' behavior, and it was unclear how much the measured behavioral traits extended to non-captive orcas.
It was not immediately determined what the whales in the photo were arguing about, but you're welcome to speculate that it was over whether to re-stream season two of "Fleabag" or start a new show.