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Dolphin speech similar to human language

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posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 04:08 AM
SCIENTISTS have finally unravelled the meaning of squeaks and whistles that make up dolphin "speech".

For millions of years, dolphins have been communicating with each other, in peace.

According to the Australian researchers who have picked up "dolphinese", the language shows the animals are more similar to humans that previously thought.

The scientists identified almost 200 different whistles that the dolphins make to communicate, and linked some to specific behaviours.

Biologist Dr Liz Hawkins and her colleagues listened to the chatter of wild bottlenose dolphins off the western coast of Australia for three years.

Dr Hawkins, of the whale research centre at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, said: "This communication is highly complex, and it is contextual, so in a sense it could be termed a language."

Dolphins were known to use "signature" whistles to identify themselves to others, but the meaning of the other whistles they make was a mystery.

Dr Hawkins recorded 1,647 whistles from 51 different groups of dolphins living in Byron Bay, New South Wales.

The biologist, who presented her work at a meeting of the Society for Marine Mammalogy in Cape Town, grouped all the whistles into five tonal classes and found that these groups, and even individual whistles, clearly went with different behaviours.

Dr Melinda Rekdahl, of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, said it was too early to know whether whistles might mean something specific, but added: "It is possible. Dolphin communication is much more complicated than we thought."

The research, the scientists claim, will lead to a reassessment of the social complexity of dolphins, raising moral questions over how those kept in captivity should be treated.

[edit on 11/02/2007 by 0bserver1]

[edit on 11/02/2007 by 0bserver1]

posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 08:54 AM
Expected this myself.

I wouldnt be suprized if their whistles are sort of midway between words and letters.

posted on Mar, 1 2008 @ 09:01 AM

Originally posted by 0bserver1
For millions of years, dolphins have been communicating with each other, in peace.

Sorry to shatter your notion, but they aren't as peaceful as you may think. Like the article said, they're certainly more similar to humans than they appear.

Alliance Strategies in Bottlenose Dolphins

Researchers have been studying the bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) in Shark Bay, Western Australia for quite a long time because they are tame. They have observed male-male alliances that seem very stable. Male alliances are usually groups of two or three males that can last many years. The association coefficient for some pairs of males is in the same range as those found for mothers and their nursing calves(3).

So why do males form these alliances? The answer seems to greatly reflect human behavior: to get women. Male alliances typically "herd" females for anywhere from a few minutes to months(4) These herding events are not usually enjoyed by the females. Herding is often forcible with escape events and violence involved.(3) In a herding event males will surround the female or chase her. Aggression toward the female is common and can include: hitting with the tail, head-jerks, charging, biting, or body slamming.(3) Should the female try to escape, which often happens, the males will chase her more often than not. Of course the ultimate goal of a herding event is sex and the males in the alliance will take turns to make sure everyone has an equal share. If the alliance has three members, only 2 will herd the female and the third will stay behind. However, the individual who is left behind changes with every herding event so again all members have an equal chance at mating. (3)

Not so peaceful. Also similar to a human behaviour called 'gang-rape'.

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 12:44 AM

For the Dolphins to view it as 'gang-rape' they would have to think and experience the same psychological ramifications as we humans do on rape. Perhaps these intelligent sentient creatures don't view it this way. I think you're being too sudden projecting this human notion to their dolphin minds.

Or maybe they are just primitive creatures on the verge of evolution, but still slave to their selfish biological drive. Maybe we can say they gang-rape and view them in a negative light justifiably. I don't know.

[edit on 2-3-2008 by Cloak and Dagger]

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 06:17 AM

Originally posted by Cloak and Dagger
Or maybe they are just primitive creatures on the verge of evolution, but still slave to their selfish biological drive.

You can say the same thing about humans.

Put it this way -- dolphins are very intelligent, yes? They can understand what we are trying to convey to them. They have a sort of language between themselves. Research has also revealed that they have the gift of insight, as we do.

So what's the difference then? What makes morality so "uniquely human" if we can also be amoral?

Besides, even rats suffer psychologically when forced to partake in something they clearly don't want to. What makes you think dolphin females, who are far superior to rats in the brain department, don't suffer the same psychological effects of being "herded" by dolphin male gangs?

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 06:27 AM
reply to post by Beachcoma

Human morality changed and will change throughout history . Human morality is still slightly different in certain geographic/social/economical layers.
Why then we must have same moral values with dolphins? The fact that dolphin female might be in a great stress -very possibly. This doesn't mean that general dolphin population considers it "immoral".
I did not see dolphin concetration camps either. So before saying that their are more violent/immoral then us, humans, we should clean up our own history. Or rewrite it, a lot easier.

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 07:59 AM
Scientist need to get off their backsides and figure them out because I believe they have more intelligence than we do with their larger brains. A scientist has a aquarium with TVs in the walls and he shows them live feeds of themselves and then recordings of themselves and they know the difference. If the dolphin is watching himself like he is looking in the mirror he does all kinds of funny stuff, If he is watching a recorded feed of other dolphins he just sits and watches. That was not the amazing part though. He showed that when the dolphins get board they will take and make huge air bubbles under the water and play with them to entertain themselves, They will even make perfect rings to swim through. Here is the shocker. One thought that he would let everyone see just how much he knew by making himself a perfect halo for the top of his head. Living in Florida I have been around tons of them. One time I ran my flat bottom boat quietly into a group of them and I gave myself and my friend the experience of a lifetime. They were very happy to see us and swim right beside the boat upside down and look at us laughing and playing. They even let their little baby swim right up to me and they played right there all around the boat for probably a half hour and you could feel the strong bond that they have with us. Just a warning though dolphins will protect themselves. If you see anyone harassing a dolphin, One make sure your not in the water and two stop anyone who is harassing them because they will kill as it has happened already. Two guys in waist deep water though it would be funny to kick and punch one, The dolphin took revenge on one of the guys and pummeled him to death. Swimming with them can be dangerous in this way because they could have just experienced something like that and then take it out on you. They are the most amazing fish in the sea and I think we need to see what they know in those brains of theirs because I bet it would truly blow us away.

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 10:26 AM
Man, some people are bending over backwards to defend what I said earlier about dolphins.

The message is simple -- dolphins aren't those cute and cuddly creatures they are often portrayed as. That's all there is to what I said. I did not say that "they are more violent/immoral than us". (In fact my comment about human morality was just an off-hand comment, not the meat of my previous message)

I was simply saying they aren't 'angelic' as some would like to believe. All intelligent creatures are capable of violence, be it dolphins, elephants or crows. Just like humans, who are also animals in their own right.

And to say that dolphins "probably don't consider it amoral" is making an even bigger assumption than my simple observation that "the female probably doesn't like to be herded". How can you say that they are very intelligent yet they can't figure out how the others in their own ranks are feeling. Aren't animals very perceptive? What's with the doublethink?

It's absurd. Even more now that we know dolphins have a language that "is highly complex, and [is] contextual."

[edit on 2/3/2008 by Beachcoma]

posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 10:41 AM
Killer whales are dolphins (kind of) no one starts saying arrrr aren't they cute when they are flipping seals in the air and playing seal pup baseball. They also have highly complex language abilities.

Orcas are versatile and opportunistic predators. Some populations feed mostly on fish, and other populations hunt marine mammals, including sea lions, seals, and even large whales. There are up to five distinct Orca types, some of which may be separate subspecies or even species. Orcas are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species.[1] The sophisticated social behaviour, hunting techniques, and vocal behaviour of Orcas have been described as manifestations of culture.[2]

Wiki Link

This one time I was out swimmin and 6 dolphins jumped me for no reason, they took my wallet and my fags. Vicious little buggers!!


posted on Mar, 2 2008 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by Beachcoma

I'm with you on this one. Everybody here seems to believe that wild animals that are usually portrayed in a positive light can't turn to odd natural behaviors that are deemed as "immoral," though it's "amoral." Behavior, especially that of wild animals shouldn't be deemed right or wrong, but as you pointed out, they may be thought of as barbaric or otherwise. This article doesn't go into self awareness or "Dolphins hold selves accountable for gang rape" or anything like that. This is strictly about communication between dolphins and not an issue of "good animals gone bad."

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 08:38 AM
reply to post by Sky watcher

"They are the most amazing fish in the sea and I think we need to see what they know in those brains of theirs because I bet it would truly blow us away."

Dolphins are not fish they are mammals and so are whales, narwhals, seals, sea lion, others of the like.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 11:23 AM

The voice of the dolphin in air is like that of the human, in that they can pronounce vowels, and combinations of vowels


Flag from me, missed that thanks,

Ive just bumped a very good thread with information about their true intelligence here:

Dolphins Use Tools

Anyone who is interested in these creatures and the comments on other higher animals and their morals, behaviour or not should check out my links there.

I really feel for the dolphins at the moment being mainly an auditory creature whera's the human is a sight based preference.

What we are doing to the sea with sound pollution, is like laser pointers being flashed in our eyes as we try and drive, and go about our work....

And people still wonder why they beach soo much The elephant is definately right in the middle of the swimming pool!

Its very wrong especially the Royal Navy in the UK with its new super powerful sonar... disgusting, some reports of Dolphins etc going insane almost from the all pervading nature of it and the strength...

Maybe they are showing more aggression now as humans have only studied them recently, and the environmental stresses humans have placed on them is extreme, if I kept shining an invisible to you torch in your eyes, but you could see the light all the time you would eventually get angry too?

Kind regards,


Dolphins Use Tools

Edit to add Aristotle quote.

[edit on 17-11-2008 by MischeviousElf]

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by Beachcoma

I have yet to hear of a case when dolphins were hurting humans. Humans ignore aggressive animals that do not generally pose a danger to them. We focus on the cuteness and dangerousness of animals like lions because they can pose an immediate threat to us. We don’t see dolphins this way, so their aggression is often ignored.

posted on Nov, 17 2008 @ 12:09 PM
i think the headline is a little misleading. they haven't figured out much at all.

language is meant to convey thought, dolphins clearly think, they also have a huge degree of both sound modulation and recognition, so i'ld personally be surprised if they didn't have a language. scientists have shown this to be true. whoop di do.

the problem getting any further is going to be that they will be, mentally, set up totally differently to us. they have developed in a totally different environment. they have nothing in common with us outside of an apparent sense of individuality. you translate a language starting with the basic commonness, in absence of this i don't see how we can do it.

perhaps we might get somewhere by looking at how baby's learn to speak.

posted on Nov, 27 2008 @ 11:58 PM
reply to post by pieman

...the article and research has figured out quite a lot, a lot more than what they had previously known so the title is not misleading at all.

Observer1, great article, thanks for posting!

posted on Dec, 31 2008 @ 06:05 PM

Songs From The Sea: Deciphering Dolphin Language With Picture Words

ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2008) — In an important breakthrough in deciphering dolphin language, researchers in Great Britain and the United States have imaged the first high definition imprints that dolphin sounds make in water.

The key to this technique is the CymaScope, a new instrument that reveals detailed structures within sounds, allowing their architecture to be studied pictorially. Using high definition audio recordings of dolphins, the research team, headed by English acoustics engineer, John Stuart Reid, and Florida-based dolphin researcher, Jack Kassewitz, has been able to image, for the first time, the imprint that a dolphin sound makes in water. The resulting "CymaGlyphs," as they have been named, are reproducible patterns that are expected to form the basis of a lexicon of dolphin language, each pattern representing a dolphin 'picture word.'


Imagine being able to hold an actual conversation with a dolphin...

While that scenario is still a bit in the future, it is becoming imminent and I would love to be around when that happens.

posted on Dec, 31 2008 @ 08:43 PM
Dr. Michael Wolf said that dolphins were intelligent et life. Carvings of a dolpin with bubbles can be found on mars near the sedonia region. Google it! He also said, in an interview, something I believe about grey ets, that they descended from dolphins. Its not hive mentality but pod. The personalities, from my own experience as an experiencer are similiar.

posted on Dec, 31 2008 @ 09:31 PM
reply to post by mystiq

Say WHAT?!!!

I'm sorry, but that is, at least, extremely presumptious. At most, downright dishonest.

How can anyone say something like that with a straight face?

posted on Dec, 31 2008 @ 09:37 PM
Larger brains does not equate to higher intelligence.Even today brains can vary significantly.Neanderthals had far larger brains than homo sapiens yet we were more intelligent.

From what ive gathered Mystique is a bit out there from his/her posts...

[edit on 31-12-2008 by Solomons]

posted on Dec, 31 2008 @ 10:06 PM
I would be lying to not to say that, and... this is what Dr. Michael Wolf relays in his videos, search for them on google and youtube. I've seen the pictures on mars, including the crowned face, and no one can convince my eyes some convulated reasoning for whats there. And I've been an abductee since I was 4 or 5. They were greys primarily. This is what I believe to be true as to grey origins.

[edit on 31-12-2008 by mystiq]

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