Monday, February 25, 2013

Dolphins Call Each Other by Name

Dolphins might indeed prove more intelligent than humans, with no wars or genocide to their credit.  of course with reports of Dolphins bullying their females and showing aggressive behavior at times, they might rank on par with we naked apes.

[Bottlenose dolphins have been observed to use distinctive “signature whistles” towards each other, says new research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. That is, dolphins actually call one another by name, a behavior previously thought to only occur in humans.

Scientists have known that dolphins emit unique whistles that identify them to other dolphins. These can be heard up to 12.4 miles away, depending on the depth of the water and whistle frequency.

Stephanie King, a research fellow at University of St. Andrews, observed that the bottlenose dolphins actually copy the signature whistle of other dolphins when separated from them. This finding, she says in Discovery News, “supports our belief that dolphins copy another animal’s signature whistle when they want to reunite with that specific individual.”

King and her colleagues observed the copying of signature whistles both in wild dolphins around Sarasota Bay in Florida from 1984 to 2009 and in four adult male captive dolphins who live at Florida’s The Sea Aquarium. The keepers had given the latter four the names Calvin, Khyber, Malabar and Ranier but the dolphins were seen to have their own names for each other.]
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