Yasha and Yana, two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, have been chatting it up lately and scientists have been listening in. The recordings can clearly be heard to be conversations, as the mammals pause to let the other finish and can string distinct “words” together to form sentences. The research confirms for the first time that dolphins use an advanced form of communication similar to humans.
The study, published in the journal Mathematics and Physics, was performed at the Karadag Nature Reserve in Feodosia, Russia. The two dolphins were recorded speaking to each other in a pool at the reserve and the analysis of their conversation was fascinating. Dr. Vyacheslav Ryabov, lead researcher of the study, stated: “Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people.”
A series of pulsed clicks were produced by each mammal, each distinct and representing a phoneme or word in the dolphin language. These pulses were strung together like sentences and it was clear both Yasha and Yana waited for the other to finish before responding. “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,” explained Dr. Ryabov.
Dolphins are already known to produce more than one thousand types of distinct whistles to communicate with one another, but the new evidence points to particularly advanced behavior in the form of a one-on-one, back and forth conversation. At this point in time, we still do not understand the content of their communication, but the researchers say this is clearly the next step to take.
Via The Telegraph