Scientists unravel 'dolphinese' chatter
2007 12 19

By Craig Brown | news.scotsman.com


Scientists have finally unravelled the meaning of squeaks and whistles that make up dolphin "speech".

According to the Australian researchers who have picked up "dolphinese", the language shows the animals are more similar to humans that previously thought.

The scientists identified almost 200 different whistles that the dolphins make to communicate, and linked some to specific behaviours.

Biologist Dr Liz Hawkins and her colleagues listened to the chatter of wild bottlenose dolphins off the western coast of Australia for three years.

Dr Hawkins, of the whale research centre at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, said: "This communication is highly complex, and it is contextual, so in a sense it could be termed a language."

Dolphins were known to use "signature" whistles to identify themselves to others, but the meaning of the other whistles they make was a mystery.

Dr Hawkins recorded 1,647 whistles from 51 different groups of dolphins living in Byron Bay, New South Wales.

The biologist, who presented her work at a meeting of the Society for Marine Mammalogy in Cape Town, grouped all the whistles into five tonal classes and found that these groups, and even individual whistles, clearly went with different behaviours.

Dr Melinda Rekdahl, of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, said it was too early to know whether whistles might mean something specific, but added: "It is possible. Dolphin communication is much more complicated than we thought."

The research, the scientists claim, will lead to a reassessment of the social complexity of dolphins, raising moral questions over how those kept in captivity should be treated.

Article from: http://news.scotsman.com/scitech/Scientists-unravel-39dolphinese39-chatter.3602514.jp



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
More News »