[18-05-2012 to 31-05-2013]
Dophins use whistles to say hello to each other
Using hydrophones, researchers Vincent Janik and Nicola Quick of the University of St Andrews made recordings of dolphins swimming in St. Andrews Bay, off the northeastern coast of Scotland, in the summers of 2003 and 2004.
When groups of dolphins met up, they swapped whistles that outwardly sounded the same but their research showed that the whistles were individual signatures that were never matched or copied by other dolphins.
The whistles are clearly important, as they were heard in 90 percent of the joinups, says their paper, which was published in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The discovery adds an intriguing footnote about the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), one of only very few species which can invent or copy noises.
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