Tuesday 6 December 2016

Dolphins 'talk' like we do, say scientists who recorded them

Sarah Knapton

Published 12/09/2016 | 02:30

Researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, in Feodosia, Russia, recorded two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, Yasha and Yana, talking to each other in a pool. AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA
Researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, in Feodosia, Russia, recorded two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, Yasha and Yana, talking to each other in a pool. AFP PHOTO / Toshifumi KITAMURA

Two dolphins have been recorded for the first time having a conversation, after scientists developed an underwater microphone which could distinguish the animals' different 'voices'.

  • Go To

Researchers have known for decades that the mammals have an advanced form of communication, using distinctive clicks and whistles to show they are excited, happy, stressed or separated from the group.

But they have now shown that dolphins alter the volume and pitch of pulsed clicks to form individual 'words', which they string together into sentences.

Researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, in Feodosia, Russia, recorded two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, Yasha and Yana, talking to each other in a pool. They found that each dolphin would listen to a sentence of pulses without interruption, before replying.

Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov, the lead researcher, said: "Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people.

"This language exhibits all the design features present in the human spoken language.

"This indicates a high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphins, and their language can be ostensibly considered a highly developed spoken language, akin to the human language."

The research was published in the journal 'Mathematics and Physics'.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News