In a recent study published in Marine Mammal Science, scientists analyzed the somewhat puzzling behavior of humpback whales to protect other species from killer whales. The study focused on 115 specific instances where humpbacks interfered in orcas attacking other animals. Without any obvious benefit to the humpbacks resulting from protecting other animals, the scientists said they could not rule out altruistic intentions on the part of the humpback whales.
The study also found that Orcas were targeting humpback whale calves only a small percentage of the time, approximately 11 percent.
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