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Dolphins have names!

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posted on May, 10 2006 @ 11:01 PM
A study by St Andrews University and the Royal Society has concluded that Dolphins actually give each other names:

Dolphins communicate like humans by calling each other by "name", scientists in Fife have found.
The mammals are able to recognise themselves and other members of the same species as individuals with separate identities, using whistles.

St Andrews University researchers studying in Florida discovered bottlenose dolphins used names rather than sound to identify each other.

The three-year-study was funded by the Royal Society of London.

Dr Vincent Janik, of the Sea Mammal Unit at St Andrews University, said they conducted the research on wild dolphins.
He said: "We captured wild dolphins using nets when they came near the shore.

"Then in the shallow water we recorded their whistles before synthesising them on a computer so that we had a computer voice of a dolphin.

"Then we played it back to the dolphins and we found they responded. This showed us that the dolphins know each other's signature whistle instead of just the voice.

Interesting indeed and certainly some important research into the intelligence of our Aquatic cousins.....

posted on May, 11 2006 @ 06:50 AM
I read a similar news item on the BBC site yesterday and was just about to say "but they're not sure if they recognise the voice (like u would on a telephone) or teh actual names" until I read this article... interesting stuff!

Would I be right in saying this was something previously thought unique to humans? If so, wonder what the implecations of this would be... the preursor to language and thus intelligence? Early days I suppose

posted on May, 11 2006 @ 07:55 AM
Pretty much, you're seeing the basic building blocks of language and culture. Think, this is how language started, with grunts from us meaning things like:

This Way!
Look Out!

Naturally, due to the size of our brains, and a sudden evolutionary shift towards brains that could process MORE words/grunts (since this communication bonus gave us a massive evolutionary edge over other proto-humans), we developed a language, names, and other uses for speech.

In all reality, I think dolphins will develop at a quick rate, and in just a few hundred years we could see dolphins that can communicate. Why such a short time? Because humans drive forward the evolution of other animals. We kill a lot of creatures, and so any evolutionary advantage for animals quickly rises to the top (since other, less advanced, specimens die off). Not only that, but we train dolphins, we WANT them to be able to speak to us - and so, since we don't kill off dolphins as readily as other animals, dolphins that can speak will be given another evolutionary boost.

Essentially, we'll do to dolphins what we did to dogs - we'll make sure they'll end up how we want them to be.

posted on May, 11 2006 @ 09:30 AM
This is an interesting post, I would like to see a more intense study by some others to verify it, and then to enact some policy's to respect what could be a new intelligence.

[edit on 5-11-2006 by Ruggeder]

posted on May, 15 2006 @ 10:57 PM
Neat find stumason,

Here's an article that tells of their ability to count.

I watched a documentary on dolphin intelligence (I can't seem to Goolgle it) and it showed the mammals distiguishing shapes. The trainer would tell the dolphin like pick out the star on two placards (maybe the other had a square on it) and the dolphin would swim over to the star.

This mammal would correctly pick out the right shape every time after the trainer would verbally tell the dolphins its instructions.

I thought this was amazing.

Also, on one of the many morning radio quiz shows that's out there, there was a question of what other species enjoys sex for pleasure besides humans?

The answer was the bottle-nose dolphin. The only other species beside humans that's capable of this.

If we could only communicate with them efficiently, we may find out secrets of mysteries like the reality of Atlantis.

Who knows?

Edit to add: Wikipedia link on dolphin intelligence.

[edit on 15/5/06 by Intelearthling]

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