Dolphins can self-treat skin conditions

Researchers found out that dolphins self-treat skin conditions by rubbing on certain corals.

After noticing that dolphins rub on specific corals, a team of researchers studied them up close.  They discovered that the reason for such behavior was to treat skin conditions.  

As dolphins repeatedly rub against the corals, they agitate the tiny polyps that make up the coral community and cause the invertebrates to release mucus.  The mucus was observed to present antibacterial, antioxidative, hormonal, and other activities that help regulate the dolphin skin’s microbiome and treat infections.

The researchers also observed that the dolphins often wake to perform the coral rubbing behavior between naps.  It’s their equivalent of showering after getting out of bed.

Such behavior is fascinating.  Do you think humans can also use coral mucus to treat skin infections?  If yes, would it put corals in danger?  Please leave a comment below.

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