Dolphins have their own language and can even get into a conversation with each other – according to new research. The latest developments in animal research allowed scientists from Russia to record dolphins as they “speak” to each other in conversations.
After decades of trying to figure out how dolphins communicate, scientists have finally solved the mystery. Two such mammals were recorded as they communicated in clicks and pulses. This is how they formed different ‘words’ which they turned into sentences to help them communicate.
The discovery was possible thanks to a submerged microphone which recorded the exchanges. The two bottlenose dolphins from the Black Sea are named Yana and Yasha. Scientists watched closely as they waited for the other dolphin to finish what they were communicating, before replying.
Scientists from the Karadag Nature Reserve in Feodosia, Russia believe that dolphins can share their stress or happiness, and a host of other feelings, through human-like communication.
Dr. Vyacheslav Ryabov, the lead author of the research, says that the communication exchange is much like two people having a conversation.
Each pulse is a ‘word’ of the dolphin’s language. The language shows features that are encountered only in the spoken language of people. This shows just how intelligent and special dolphins are, and that they have a conscience.
When compared to most mammals, dolphins have very large brains. Their brains weigh 1,800 grams and they make up 0.9 percent of a dolphin’s weight. That percentage is similar only to chimpanzees. The idea of dolphins being some of the smartest mammals emerged in the 50’s. It was made popular by John Lilly, the neuroscientist.
He put electrodes on the head of living dolphins, to stimulate their neurons. He noticed that as a dolphin was about to get killed, it made high-frequency noises which were interpreted as a last communication attempt with the killers.
Upon further experiments, Lilly convinced himself that dolphins can, in fact, communicate and have speech. He noticed how they tried to make contact with others from their species.
Dolphins gather into ‘gangs’, they can recognize their own reflection, they show empathy, fear, and even attachment or love. Much like humans. These similarities can explain why all dolphins are eager to meet and befriend humans.
Friendships between dolphins and humans date from 77AD when Pliny the Elder, a naturalist of the Roman Empire came across a story about a dolphin and a boy forming a bond. The boy would feed him bread and win the dolphin’s friendship.
Image Source – Pixabay