Saturday, 12 June 2010

Dolphins Use Diplomacy in Their Communication, Biologists Find - Science Daily

A European study has been focusing on burst-pulse sounds made by bottlenose dolphins, rather than the familiar whistles that have previously been thought of as the dolphins' main form of communication.

photo credit Science Daily via iStockphoto, Stephan Zabel

"Burst-pulsed sounds are used in the life of bottlenose dolphins to socialise and maintain their position in the social hierarchy in order to prevent physical conflict, and this also represents a significant energy saving," says Bruno Díaz of BDRI (Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute), the lead author of the study.

"According to the experts, the tonal whistle sounds (the most melodious ones) allow dolphins to stay in contact with each other (above all mothers and offspring), and to coordinate hunting strategies. The burst-pulsed sounds (which are more complex and varied than the whistles) are used "to avoid physical aggression in situations of high excitement, such as when they are competing for the same piece of food, for example," explains Díaz."

Very interesting. Just shows how much we don't know about forms of communication other than our own.

Full article here (Science Daily)

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