Dolphins have a very good memory due to which they remember certain whistles that are nothing, but indications that the others are calling them. We are talking about bottlenose dolphins here, who have their very own special whistles that are quite high pitched and go ‘eeee!’ The moment you hear such a signal, understand that the dolphins are calling out to each other. They are awesome vocal mimics just like humans! They can copy computer generated sounds as well, which is not observed in most of the other sea creatures.
Scientists always wondered if dolphins could imitate signature whistles of one another, which would be their names for each other, just like we humans have. In order to learn more about their whistles, they recorded whistles of several wild bottlenose dolphins and analyzed the recordings. To their surprise, the whistles turned out to be indications and names of the dolphins.
With the help of this discovery, the scientists are able to get deeper into the study of brainy marine mammals that squeak, trill and click all the time to communicate with each other. Yes – their whistles are ways to talk to one another; who knows they might be gossiping, too, just like humans!
According to Peter Tyack, the marine mammal biologist working at the University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom, this is a beautiful study because not all the animals have the ability to learn the name of another individual. Monkeys have ways to call out for food and predators; however, these are mere signs and not ‘sounds.’
The team had to record sounds of 10 wild dolphins in order to find out what their whistles exactly meant. After analyzing the entire recording, the conclusion was formed.