News / Science & Technology

Dolphins Use Whistles to Call Each Other by Name

Three bottlenose dolphins are seen at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill., May 14, 2013.  Researchers say dolphins can call to each other by name through whistling. (Chicago Zoological Society)
Three bottlenose dolphins are seen at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill., May 14, 2013. Researchers say dolphins can call to each other by name through whistling. (Chicago Zoological Society)

Related Articles

Video Killer Whales Attack Dolphins on Japan Coast

Dramatic video shows about 500 dolphins fleeing a pack of orcas, commonly known as killer whales.
VOA News
Dolphins call each other by names, according to a new study.

The study of 200 bottlenose dolphins indicated that they are the only animals other than humans to use individual names, according to the research from the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

In study, co-authors Vincent Janik and Stephanie L. King reported that dolphins have “signature whistles” they use as greetings when meeting up. The researchers say individual dolphins have individual whistles or “names.”

The two researchers recorded the whistles of 12 dolphins and played the whistles back to each dolphin to record their reactions.

According to the study, in eight of 12 cases, the dolphin replied when they heard their own whistle. In two cases, the dolphin responded to the whistle of a dolphin from its own pod--the group of other dolphins it travels with.

The study said none of the dolphins responded to the sound of a dolphin it did not know.

"Here, we show that wild bottlenose dolphins respond to hearing a copy of their own signature whistle by calling back," the researchers say in their study abstract. "Animals did not respond to whistles that were not their own signature. This study provides compelling evidence that a dolphin's learned identity signal is used as a label when addressing conspecifics. Bottlenose dolphins therefore appear to be unique as nonhuman mammals to use learned signals as individually specific labels for different social companions in their own natural communication system."

The study, "Bottlenose Dolphins Can Use Learned Vocal Labels to Address Each Other," was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 26, 2013 3:22 AM
They also could become whistleblowers to us ??


by: Michael Ambrose
July 24, 2013 7:12 AM
Science Today is an easy to Use App to stay informed on science news, space updates, and reviews. I found this gem over a random Google search. Great for following science news! The App provides real-time scientific industry news and it continuously monitors and adjusts online source lists to include new writers and publications as well as opinion leaders of note.


by: Dan from: Long Beach, Ca
July 23, 2013 5:23 PM
Oh boy...this isn't good. All they need now are thumbs...and that's the end for us.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid