Do Dolphins Call Each Other by Name?


One of the world's most intelligent animals are Dolphins. They have too names which are not given by humans. For the first time ever, researches have shown how dolphins respond to "individual names". The marine mammals use a unique whistle to identify each other and respond when they hear their own call, researchers found. Scientists at the University of St. Andrews Scotland's oldest university have shown that bottlenose dolphins use signature whistles to address an individual animal, just like a name.

The research was carried out by marine biologists Stephanie King and Vincent Janik who conducted sound playback experiments with wild bottlenose dolphins off Scotland. They tested whether animals addressed with copies of their signature whistles actually react to them. The team followed groups of wild dolphins and recorded their unique 'signature' whistles using a novel signature identification method. They then played back either a computer version of an animal's signature whistle, or control whistles of either an unfamiliar animal from a different population or a familiar animal from the same population.

Each dolphin only reacted when hearing the computer version of its own signature whistle, but not the other whistles played back to it.

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