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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dolphins Call Each Other By Name

Humans call each other by name. But so do dolphins. Distinctive "signature whistling calls" apparently function as referential signals in Dolphinese. This was the conclusion of a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers found that when playing synthesized signature whistles without the caller's voice features to a dolphin, the dolphin would turn toward the speaker if the whistle sounded like a relative's. What remains unknown is whether dolphins also make signals that refer to entities other than dolphins.

(Via tvnz and Colleen Keating)

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