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Scientists Record Dolphins Having a ‘Human-Like’ Conversation for the First Time



There are key markers for human conversation, among them are our ability to string words together to make full sentences and also our inclination to pause in a conversation to make room for another person to participate. In a first-ever recording, scientists have now recorded dolphins having the same type of dialogue.

With this discovery, researchers have confirmed what many dolphin lovers have always suspected – that dolphins communicate using a very advanced system of communication that is at least as intricate as our own.

The study published in St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal: Physics and Mathematics and conducted at the Karadag Nature Reserve in Feodosia, Russia reveals that dolphins have a one-on-one, back and forth communication style. Dolphins are already known to use more than 1000 different sounds to communicate, but the new research confirms that dolphin conversations resemble ‘advanced’ human conversation and a very high level of intelligence.

They might use a series of pulsed clicks or a high squeal to make a word, and these sounds are then strung together to make sentences, with pauses to allow another dolphin to chime in.

Two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, named Yasha and Yana carried out conversations which researchers recorded and then analyzed to find two distinctly different voices.  What’s more – these marine mammals listen to a complete sentence from other dolphins without interruption!

Lead researcher Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov, as reported by the Telegraph, said: “Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people.

“Each pulse that is produced by dolphins is different from another by its appearance in the time domain and by the set of spectral components in the frequency domain.

“In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin’s spoken language.

“The analysis of numerous pulses registered in our experiments showed that the dolphins took turns in producing [sentences] and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other’s pulses before producing its own.

“This language exhibits all the design features present in the human spoken language, this indicates a high level of intelligence and consciousness in dolphins, and their language can be ostensibly considered a highly developed spoken language, akin to the human language.”

Dolphins are amazing in a number of other ways, too. They are able to stave off sleep when a baby dolphin is born for over a month. They have a panoramic 300-degree view of the ocean that allows them to see behind them, even, and they can dive for nearly 12 minutes as deep as 1800 feet. They’ve rescued humans and other animals from ship wrecks numerous times.

Even more fascinating is the fact that scientists have called a dolphin’s healing ability, “almost alien, compared to what we can do.” They’re recuperative abilities are faster than human fetuses, and they regenerate, not just heal their bodies in record time.

By now adding the documented skill of being able to talk like we do, it’s no wonder ancient cultures revered dolphins as not only our equals, but even our guides.

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