Russian scientists record dolphin conversation for the 1st time

By @vitthernandez on
Bottlenose Dolphins
Dolphins perform in a zoo during a show celebrating International Women's Day in Minsk March 8, 2015. Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko

The interest of Russian scientists in dolphin research has paid off. After developing an underwater microphone capable of distinguishing different sea animal “voices,” they recorded for the first time a conversation between dolphins.

The talk was between Yasha and Yana, Black Sea bottlenose dolphins at the Karadag Nature Reserve in Feodosia, Russia. The researchers discovered the mammals altering the volume and frequency of pulsed clicks which form individual “words” the dolphins string together into sentences, similar to human speech, reports The Telegraph.

Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov, lead researcher, explains each pulse produced by the dolphins is different from the other by its appearance in the time domain and set of spectral components in the frequency domain. The team assumed each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the animal’s spoken language.

When they analyse the various pulses registered in the reserve’s experiments, it showed the dolphins took turns producing sentence, and Yana and Yasha did not interrupt each other. The researchers believe the two listened to each other’s pulses before producing its own pulses.

Ryabov says their language shows all the design features found in human spoken language, indicative of the high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphin. The mammal’s brain weighs about 1,800 grammes and comprises 0.9 percent of its average body weight, similar to the chimpanzee’s brain-to-body weight percentage, reports Daily Mail.

The team also attached electrodes to the brains of living dolphins to stimulate neurons. They observed that a dolphin about to be brutally killed made loud noises which scientists interpret as trying to communicate with its killers.

VIDEO: Dolphins Yasha and Yana Playing in Pool

Source: Freedom