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Off the Leash Off the Leash

Dolphins call each other by name

Researchers found that bottlenose dolphins whistle for loved ones.

By Vetstreet Feb 21, 2013 4:28PM

A new study finds that bottlenose dolphins call out the names of certain other dolphins when they become separated.

The research by the University of St. Andrews Sea Mammal Research Unit in the U.K. is based on acoustic data from wild bottlenose dolphins around Sarasota Bay, Fla., from 1984 to 2009, and on the study of four captive males at The Seas Aquarium in Florida.

Photo: Dolphins call each other by name / Eco/UIG/Getty ImagesPrevious research has found that dolphins have signature whistles for themselves, and the new research finds that dolphins who are close to them can copy their whistles to find them.

“Animals produced copies when they were separated from a close associate and this supports our belief that dolphins copy another animal’s signature whistle when they want to reunite with that specific individual,” said the study’s lead author, Stephanie King.

Bing: More dolphin news

The findings were published in the journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B."

— Read it at Discovery News

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Photo: Dolphins call each other by name / Eco/UIG/Getty Images

49Comments
Feb 22, 2013 7:48PM
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What a load of crap! LOL, like the researchers have any idea what the whistles and squeaks mean! "dolphins have signature whistles for themselves" Really? and how pray tell do they know this? Did the dolphins tell them? I wonder how that conversation went. "Hello silly human researcher, my name is Squeeshirissslieeeeellka and this is my friend Ttrrreeekuillliisssiirulllissa." Wish I could get paid to take wild assed guesses about stuff and have people think I'm sooo smart for complete conjecture. What a joke.
 
"So long, and thanks for all the fish."
Feb 22, 2013 7:41PM
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They are gret grilled with a fine Chardonnay.
Feb 22, 2013 7:28PM
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If extraterrestrials ever come to this planet they'll probably try to communicate with dolphins before they do us.Who could blame 'em?
Feb 22, 2013 7:27PM
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Rubbing your leg Its just their way of saying BOO, gotcha
Feb 22, 2013 7:19PM
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It is unfortunate but this planet would run like a finely tuned clock if humans were out of the equation.  Dolphins, like many animals, are incredibly intelligent and could teach us more than a few things about our oceans and, indeed, about ourselves. 

 

SandyToes5 (below), you had experienced a wondrous thing and most folk who read your post, like myself, wish it was us who had that interaction.  We know so little of the ocean world these creatures inhabit and our destructive ways either through polluting the seas or through the melting of the ice caps will only bring more suffering to the amazing spectrum of life that lives there. Polar bears will likely be extinct, for example, within a generation or two as the polar regions of habitat melt away due to global warming.   

Feb 22, 2013 7:16PM
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Dolphins are very intelligent creatures. They're moody too. They have a lot in common with humans. More that people think. They can get in bad moods and get angry. But f or the most part, they're pretty happy creatures. They like having fun. I would have to give them the advantage on mental health. Unfortunately, some humans who are not so nice end up passing judgement and sentencing them.I heard recently of a mass showing of dolphins off of San Diego I think. Supposedly around 100,000 of them. That, is rare. I wonder why they did that?
Feb 22, 2013 7:15PM
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I wonder how many are named RanDOLPH?
Feb 22, 2013 7:09PM
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Ignore that JS kook. He's just saying idiotic stuff for attention. You folks must remember the kid in 1st or 2nd grade who did stupid stuff for attention, well, I give you JS.
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