Dolphins Name Themselves

dolphin.jpg(Discovery Channel) Dolphins create a signature whistle for themselves that researchers believe is comparable to a human name, suggests a new study. The study, published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, focused on bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. But the researchers believe other dolphin species, including the common dolphin and the Pacific white-sided dolphin, also possess the signature whistles.

Mystech: My name is NOT Flipper, its “He Who’s Fin Slices Waves Like a Jedi, Recognize!”

Dolphins now join spectacled parrotlets as the only animals other than humans known to name themselves, though researchers think there may be others.

The researchers played dolphin whistles to bottlenose dolphins at Sarasota Bay, Fla. The scientists stripped each whistle of everything but the basic frequency contour, resulting in a kind of generic dolphin voice analogous to a computerized human voice with no uniquely defining qualities.

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