Did you know that sperm whales do indeed form ‘Bromances’!!! Like humans, male sperm whales create bonds with fellow male companions that last at least five years!
Male sperm whales exist in matriarchal pods and leave before they reach sexual maturity. Until recently, it was believed that they spend most of their lives in isolation, yet studies have found that some male sperm whales find friends to accompany them on their journeys across the oceans far and wide. It is said that many male sperm whales spend all their lives in isolation, yet results show that 1 in 10 male sperm whales will travel in groups or pairs.
The results from a recent study, performed over a period of 12 years by Japanese researchers in Nemuro Strait, challenge the existing theory that male sperm whales spend their entire lives in solitude. Male animal species are generally very competitive and form strong associations with females to access territory to female groups, yet evidence is showing an alternative approach with pods of sperm whales.
Long term association among other mammals is unusual if not unheard of. Male sperm whales choose to form friendships with fellow males for reasons such as anti-predation, cooperative foraging, and loneliness, not kinship or reproduction. 20 male sperm whales were sighted on multiple occasions together over the duration of 2 years, and another pair of male sperm whales were sighted on many occasions together over a duration of 5 years! This is highly unheard of in sperm whales, and due to the small global population of around 100,000 sperm whales in total, it is increasingly difficult to study the habits of this species. Further research is being undertaken to reveal the true length of these male sperm whale 'Bromances.'