Maternal influence as it relates to learned behavior is a subject that many Quarter Horse breeders give scant thought to in these days of embryo transfer and surrogate dams. But a recent article in the Wall Street Journal testifies to the importance of maternal influence within at least one family of mammals. Click here to read “Among Dolphins, Tool-Using Handymen are Women,” by Robert Lee Hotz.

The article is about an extended family of wild bottlenose dolphins in Australia’s Shark Bay that uses small basket sponges, which they gather on the bottom of the bay, to protect their noses as they forage for food on the seafloor.