Researchers have examined coastal dolphins off the State’s north coast and found something rarely seen in mammals — males gifting females large sea sponges ripped from the ocean floor. They’ve also been seen tossing them about, possibly to show affection and strength. Simon Allen, from the University of Western Australia’s School of Biological Sciences, said the humpback dolphins’ gifting activities could be similar to human dating behaviour. The research also found that the male animals appeared to develop a “wing man” in other male dolphins. “Just like sponge presentation or gift-giving, this is very rare among non-human mammals. We also form complex alliances,” Dr Allen said.