The human bro is not the only organism to woo females with the aid of trusted male allies. Male dolphins do it as well.
According to biologist Quincy Gibson, most male dolphins in Florida's St. Johns River travel in close-knit duos or trios. She calls it the "dolphin wingman" concept.
These dolphin bromances help males take down sexual rivals and help them secure females through sometimes vicious fights.
The basic utility of these groups is to prevent other males from mating with females and also, in some cases, to impress potential mates, said Gibson, who is biologist at the University of North Florida. Not all members of a bromance are equal, either. "Usually one male tends to have a little bit more reproductive success than the other two males in the trio or than the other male if it's just a pair," she said.
But the parallels to bro culture don't stop there! These bromances sometimes form alliances with other bromanced dolphins to protect against other groups of determined bros.
"As far as it's been documented so far," Gibson said, "the only other species to do [this] are humans."
Mann agrees. "Alliances ... are found in a number of mammalian species, such as spotted hyenas and many primate species," she said, "but alliances of alliances are exceedingly rare."
According to Gibson, these "wingman" relationships can last a lifetime. Bros will be bros.
Science Writer, Fossil Beastmaster
Contact Alex Kasprak at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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