Name That Dolphin!
Dolphins can recognize themselves in a mirror, they give themselves a signature whistle “name” just after birth, and we know that they imitate each other’s “whistle names” when looking for lost relatives.
That’s already very cool. But now this science has gotten even cooler.
New research on this special form of animal intelligence shows that dolphins who hear their own “name” called out respond with their personal whistle. It’s like one says “Hey, is Flipper here?" and then Flipper says "Yeah, I’m here!”
The audio above, via NPR Science, demonstrates one of these signature “identity whistles” recorded by researcher Stephanie King. She and her team recorded them from individuals, modified them slightly, and then played them back to the original dolphin. The dolphins answered!
This opens the door to studying the extensive repertoire used by these intelligent mammals. They use a multitude of vocalizations that remain mysterious, but are now all the more intriguing. What are they “saying”?
Source: SoundCloud / nprscience