Discovery – Dolphins ‘Can Speak Almost Like Humans’

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Dolphins are creatures that are known for their intelligence, yet their ability to converse with each other individually has been less understood.

Researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, Feodosia, Crimea, believe the pulses, clicks and whistles – of up to five “words” – made by dolphins are listened to fully by another before a response is made.

“Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people,” wrote lead researcher Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov in the study, published in the journal Mathematics and Physics.

Dr Ryabov said each pulse produced by a dolphin “is different from another” in its time span and the frequencies it emits.

“In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin’s spoken language,” Dr Ryabov wrote.

However: “The dolphin’s speech unfortunately lies beyond the time and frequency characteristics of the human hearing, and is thus unavailable to humans.”

The study was conducted on two adult Black Sea bottlenose captive dolphins, a male named Yasha and a female called Yana.

The pair have lived for 20 years in a swimming pool, which measure just 27 metres by 9.5 metres and is four metres in depth. Without food rewards, a special audio system recorded the exchanges between the dolphins.

The noises emitted were of a different pattern to those produced in a pod.

Dr Ryabov continued: “The analysis of numerous pulses registered in our experiments showed that the dolphins took turns in producing pulse packs and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other’s pulses before producing its own.

“This language exhibits all the design features present in the human spoken language, this indicates a high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphins, and their language can be ostensibly considered a highly developed spoken language, akin to the human language.”

independent.co.uk

Two dolphins have been recorded having a conversation for the first time after scientists developed an underwater microphone which could distinguish the animals’ different “voices”.

Researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, in Feodosia, Ukraine, recorded two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, called Yasha and Yana, talking to each other in a pool. They found that each dolphin would listen to a sentence of pulses without interruption, before replying.

A graphic showing Yasha and Yana 'chatting' in their pool 
A graphic showing Yasha and Yana ‘chatting’ in their pool 

Lead researcher Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov, said: “Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people.

“Each pulse that is produced by dolphins is different from another by its appearance in the time domain and by the set of spectral components in the frequency domain.

“In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin’s spoken language.

“The analysis of numerous pulses registered in our experiments showed that the dolphins took turns in producing [sentences] and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other’s pulses before producing its own.

“This language exhibits all the design features present in the human spoken language, this indicates a high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphins, and their language can be ostensibly considered a highly developed spoken language, akin to the human language.”

telegraph.co.uk

Dr Ryabov said it was now beyond doubt that dolphins speak their own language and it is time to start studying how to communicate directly with them.

“Humans must take the first step to establish relationships with the first intelligent inhabitants of the planet Earth by creating devices capable of overcoming the barriers that stand in the way of using languages and in the way of communications between dolphins and people,” he added.

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