Nature & Environment
Scientists record two dolphins 'chatting'
By T.K. Randall
September 12, 2016 · 21 comments
Dolphins are keen conversationalists. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Vince Smith
For the first time, a conversation between two dolphins has been recorded using a special microphone.
Dolphins have long been thought to communicate using their own unique, complex language, but now scientists in Russia have actually managed to catch them in the act by listening in on how the animals form 'sentences' using their distinctive clicks and whistles.
The experiment recorded two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins communicating with one another at the Karadag Nature Reserve in Feodosia, Russia. The researchers found that each dolphin would stop and listen to the sounds made by the other before replying with its own reciprocal 'words'.
"Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people," said lead researcher Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov. "Each pulse that is produced by dolphins is different from another by its appearance in the time domain and by the set of spectral components in the frequency domain."
"In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin's spoken language."
Exactly what the two dolphins were saying to one another however remains unknown.
"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," said Dr Ryabov.
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