Animal friends: puppies, elephants, dolphins, kittensAs anyone with cats already knows, animals can be buddies. Now scientists have caught up with the rest of us: “At least five types of animals maintain relationships that are comparable to human friendships,” says Discovery News.

So which animals have BFFs? In addition to bats, the newest animal discovered to make long-term relationships, “elephants, dolphins, some carnivores and certain non-human primates, such as chimpanzees, have the ability — just as humans do — to maintain enduring friendships,” reports Jennifer Viegas. Guess Milo and Otis were on to something.

Ladybats are friendlier: “Female wild Bechstein’s bats prefer to literally hang out with certain friends while they also keep loose ties to the rest of their colony,” but male bats are loners.

Now push: Ladybats (obviously the scientific term) even act as midwives for each other. A Floridian fruit bat in labor was aided by a buddy: “The helper bat repeatedly groomed and hugged the pregnant bat during the birthing process.” Awww!

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Original photos: Motoyen, Stefano Mortellaro, Tina Harklau, and Daniel Gomez