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
Latest News from our Front Page
Missing flight: Why are the phantom phones ringing FOUR DAYS after mystery disappearance? (Perhaps not underwater?)
2014 03 11
Many desperate and devastated families of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight are clinging to hope. For days they have been waiting anxiously for any word from officials about the status or location of the plane and its 239 passengers. Some of the family members have been able to ’connect’ to their missing loved ones via cellphones - the phones ring ...
Has Blackwater been deployed to Ukraine?
2014 03 11
Notorious U.S. mercenaries ’seen on the streets of flashpoint city’ as Russia claims 300 hired guns have arrived in country
Speculation was growing last night that American mercenaries had been deployed to Donetsk after videos emerged of unidentified armed men in the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city.
At least two videos published on YouTube earlier this week show burly, heavily armed ...
Pyramid of the Sun Turning to Dust
2014 03 10
All we are is dust in the wind, so the saying goes, but it’s troubling when it happens to great ancient monuments that we assume will be around forever.
Pyramid of the Sun, Pirámide del Sol, Teotihuacán, México (Wikimedia Commons)
New Scientist reports that the Pyramid of the Sun in Mexico is turning to dust and could collapse:
The Pyramid of the ...
Elephants Never Forget A Voice
2014 03 10
According to a new study, wild elephants are discerning listeners who can differentiate between various human languages, genders, ages, and more. Such surprising skills continue to marvel researchers.
Not all the intellectual surprises are on the large animal front. Research has shown that crows are extremely intelligent, some dogs recognize over a thousand words and have the intellect of a toddler, ...
RIP, psychiatry: the “chemical-imbalance” theory is dead
2014 03 10
This one is big.
Dr. Ronald Pies, the editor-in-chief emeritus of the Psychiatric Times, laid the theory to rest in the July 11, 2011, issue of the Times with this staggering admission:
“In truth, the ‘chemical imbalance’ notion was always a kind of urban legend — never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists.”
The point is, for decades the whole basis of ...
|More News » |