Dolphins Have Names for Each Other
They respond to 'signature whistles': researchers
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 23, 2013 2:00 AM CDT
Dolphins appear to have names for each other, a study suggests.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Sure, call him Flipper, but he's probably already got a name among his own kind. Bottlenose dolphins appear to have individual identifying whistles, researchers in Scotland find. The scientists recorded the "signature whistles" of several of the animals in a group, along with other sounds they make. The team then played the sounds over underwater speakers. When a dolphin heard its own identifying sound, it would respond by singing it back, the BBC reports.

In other words, according to the scientists, they were answering to their own names. It makes sense that dolphins would have ways of referring to each other by sound: They "live in an environment where they need a very efficient system to stay in touch," says a researcher. "Most of the time they can't see each other, they can't use smell underwater ... and they also don't tend to hang out in one spot." Dolphins are the first animals to show such behavior, he adds.

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Showing 3 of 32 comments
apocalypso
Jul 24, 2013 7:19 AM CDT
Dolphins will also rape you the first chance they get. Wear a chastity belt if you're gonna swim with them, their penises are scary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfPZu5RbKM0
iq145
Jul 23, 2013 11:13 PM CDT
There's a mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Bottlenose dolphins are targeted, and their meat is considered a delicacy. They lure the dolphins into a cove with no escape, spear the dolphins or slash their throats. The japanese government has the ability to condemn this, and punish those who participate in the slaughter, but have done nothing about it: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/ars/petition/DolphinSlaughter2 Signature progress: 21,904
793tango
Jul 23, 2013 8:28 AM CDT
Animals are smarter than we think.