Animals rely on communication systems to transmit information and, furthermore, their ability to communicate with varied and complex communication methods appears to be present in all species. Every living being on this planet can communicate, either with other individuals of the same species or with individuals of other species. Some animals that draw our attention because of how they communicate with each other and with other species, including us, are dolphins.
How dolphins communicate with each other
Dolphin communication can occur through various types of signals , whether they are voice signals, non-vocal acoustic, visual or tactile signals.
Vocal signals can be pure tones, which include hissing, screeching, screaming, or pulsed sounds. For one thing, dolphins are incredible vocal mimics capable of reproducing human whistles with high precision. These mammals are capable of producing different whistles in different situations, including social situations, when separated from friends, or when they are happy or scared. This process is extremely complicated and how different species develop and use whistle communication has been studied extensively. It is known, for example, that in the Tursiops also known as bottlenose dolphins, each individual produces their own characteristic whistle, a unique whistle which they develop throughout the first year of life. Pulsed sounds, on the other hand, are short sounds that occur in rapid succession at regular intervals.
Non-vocal acoustic signals
The communicative process of dolphins can also occur through a series of non-vocal sounds, that is, through sounds that are not produced using the organs within the vocal area of dolphins. These sounds include the blows of the tail on the surface of the water, the blows of the fin, both on the surface of the water as well as on their own body, sounds produced by quickly clenching their jaws, when they exhale or through blows of back when jumping and hitting the surface of the water or even producing streams of bubbles.
Within this group are included from gestures to movements and colorations. The most common visual cues include body colorations, dots and stripes, sexual dimorphism, body postures, gestures, behaviors synchronized with other dolphins, or aerial or jumping displays.
These signals are based on rubbing your body with the body of other dolphins, as well as can be communicated by rubbing the fins with other dolphins. This type of communication is considered as signs of friendship.
Dolphins can communicate with other cetaceans through the use of screeches and whistles . Beyond cetaceans, in some way that is still not very clear, dolphins are capable of communicating with other animals and with humans.
An example of the communication of wild dolphins with humans occurs in Laguna (Brazil), where the dolphins guide the fish towards the fishermen’s nets and warn them when the nets are full by hitting their tails or heads against the water .
If you have ever wondered how dolphins make sound, you will surely be interested to know this has its origin in their nasal cavities , which are considered analogous to our vocal cords. The language features of dolphins are defined through the use of special lips located in their nostril or blowhole, so that the entry of air through these lips causes the vibration of their tissues, giving rise to sounds of different frequencies.
Dolphins are capable of making a range of diverse sounds and, although the sound emitted by these cetaceans does not have a single name, the following sounds that dolphins make are distinguished :
- The whistles.
- The screaming.
- The grunts.
- The chirps.
Do dolphins talk?
Dolphins have brains that are larger and more complex than humans. Although the vocalization of dolphins is not the same as in humans and they do not articulate information in the same way that we do, since they do not have vocal cords, dolphins “talk” to each other using the same process to make high-pitched sounds as dolphins. humans.
Although the language of dolphins has not yet been well deciphered, it is known that the different sounds they make are used in ways not dissimilar to the different words in human language. In this way, it is known that if, for example, a dolphin has been attacked, it can communicate what happened to the other dolphins and guide them in retaliation or retreat. In the same way, dolphins are also capable of sharing information about a nearby danger or the location of food.
What is dolphin sonar
The echolocation of dolphins can be thought of as a means of communication, but this is not the reality. Echolocation is not a form of communication, but a method that dolphins have to locate objects or individuals in their environment through sounds.
This navigation system is based on the emission of high-frequency clicks which bounce off objects and return to the dolphins in the form of an echo, allowing them to take a mental image of their environment, obtaining knowledge of the distances of each object through the delay in receiving the echo. This system is especially useful for them when there is very little light, such as in murky waters in somewhat deep waters.