CC0 Creative Commons

We all know that Dolphins are smart animals and this notion is now given more support as research now confirm their ability to call each other by name.

They seem to have an advanced form of communication to back that claims up. Since new evidence provides further evidence that dolphins communicate with each other and indeed call each other by “name”.

The team of researchers from the University of St Andrews in Scotland has found that the marine mammals seem to use a unique whistle to identify each other. When this whistle is played back to them – they respond by sounding their whistle back.

This is the first time that the dolphin response has been studied when addressed by the sound of their “name”. The study Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Communication for Dolphins is probably more essential than for other animals – since they are both herd animals and constantly on the move. Therefore they cannot rely on smell as many other mammals do.

Dr. Vincent Janik, from the university’s Sea Mammal Research Unit, said, “(Dolphins) live in this three-dimensional environment, offshore without any kind of landmarks and they need to stay together as a group.”. Vincent adds, “These animals live in an environment where they need a very efficient system to stay in touch.”.

The researchers believe this is the first time name-calling has been seen in an animal. Although with a possible exception for some species of parrot that use sounds to label others in their group.

The researchers point out that understanding how this skill evolved in parallel among very different groups of animals could tell us more about how communication developed in humans.

Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other