Dolphins are amazing creatures. They are one of the most intelligent animals are social and like to play games. A new discovery shows that they are closer to humans than we ever thought. A recent study confirmed that dolphins have unique names, a signature whistle, that they use to call each other. The extraordinary discovery is fascinating and may prove useful in understanding how communication of humans developed over time too.
Dolphins largely spend their time in vast oceans with no landmarks, no nests, and poor visibility. Yet these animals are able to stay together in large groups. Until now it was unknown how they managed to do this. The latest discovery shows that they have the ability to call out to each other, by name, in order to help locate friends and family and stick together,
While studying dolphins it became clear that each dolphin made a unique sound and that other dolphins were able to recreate the sound to get their attention. Scientists then recorded the sounds as well as many other dolphin sounds and the unique sounds of dolphins from far away. They found that when they played the unique song on a speaker the appropriate dolphin would react, showing that it recognized the sound, almost like a name. When they played the signature whistles of dolphins they had never met, they gave no reaction.
These signature whistles mark the first time that this type of recognition has been seen in the animal kingdom. Although there is one type of parrot who may have unique identifiers too it is the first confirmed case of communication among an animal with a clear name. The findings are particularly astounding as it shows how early communication evolves in different groups of animals that have never met. As if dolphins weren’t already impressive enough this new finding just confirms how incredibly smart they are.