As can be seen from dolphins breeding in the famous Chark Bay in Australia, the male species can turn viciously violent, engaging in a tight competition for access to females, and while with most animal species the race is usually between males, with an alpha male ultimately being singled out, the bottlenose dolphins pursue a different line of action – they operate in gangs, according to a report by The Atlantic.
The tactic unfolds in the following way: first-order partnerships pick a female, rush at her and then coerce her into having sex, with the latter being no more than assumption, as the intimate details are a rare sight in the dolphin community. As the female repeatedly attempts to break free, from the aggressive corralling, the males prevent her from doing so by doubling down on pressure, bashing her with tails, body-slamming and so on into obedience.
Second-order teams are also existent, research shows, with five or six males attacking one female often being closely related in such alliances, so as a means of transmitting their genes into the future, which is very much in line with the Theory of Evolution.
The evidence of dolphins’ coercive behaviour comes from multiple observations of their pre-copulatory activity, and physical violence exerted on the females.
Many say, tongue-in-cheek, that as opposed to their smart and friendly image thanks to internationally held dolphin shows and popular television programmes, dolphins rape, which is actually true, but with some reservations: sexual coercion should be viewed as part of their reproductive strategy, as it is the case with many other animals, which are known to be brutal in their love games. Humans must be careful “not to anthropomorphize their behaviour, whether it be cute, smart, or horrid”, the report sums up, going on to ponder on yet another unpleasant gestures seen in dolphins — infanticide.
Although it often gets rendered as murder in the popular press, it is noteworthy that many other animal species, both males and females, kill the youngsters of others within their own kind as part of a reproductive scheme.