How Do Dolphins Communicate?
Dolphins are indeed fascinating, playful, and fun to watch. There is no doubt that they are among the smartest animals in the ocean. In fact, they are widely researched marine mammal that belongs to the whale family. But, how do dolphins communicate? The truth is, since dolphins are known for their intelligence, they actually have a complex communication system for survival.
The more you learn facts about dolphins, the more you will appreciate this amazing creature. Their means of communication are achieved in many ways. So in this blog, you will learn more about how do dolphins communicate and understand what truly makes them unique from other sea creatures.
Ways on How do Dolphins Communicate
Curious about how do dolphins communicate? Read on below to understand how these amazing creatures communicate.
It may seem impossible, but dolphins can communicate through physical contact. They have this hard bumping with their head and have aggressive signals to ward off males when it is mating season. However, they also have gentle touching and bumping on their other fin, which is their sign of affection.
You've probably seen dolphins in videos or leap out of the water up close. They have this in an amazing sequence. While you think they are just being playful and one way of showing off and communicating with other dolphins, jumping is their way to display themselves and watch out for predators nearby. Aside from that, jumping out of the water helps them conserve energy. It takes them less effort to swim than push through the water.
Like bats, dolphins have that biological sonar such as echolocation to be alarmed about different objects around their environment. This is through emitting high or low-pitched sound frequencies. But what is echolocation?
Usually, having good eyesight allows dolphins to see both above and underwater. Dolphins use an echolocation sense to hunt and navigate underwater. This only means that they could emit sound waves and interpret the echoes that would bounce back to other creatures and water objects in the water. This allows them to build up a picture of their surroundings.
Dolphins take time for frequencies to bounce the objects off and get back to them. This is because their echolocation senses are so accurate, their direction and density to travel. This is so vital to dolphins, especially when their vision is very limited underwater.
Whistles serve to maintain and establish physical or vocal contact between dolphins. They respond to other dolphins by whistling themselves or just moving toward the whistler. They have these signature whistles that they produce that are characterized by frequency modulation patterns that also encode identity information.
Dolphins also develop their signature whistles as early as two years of age. However, some factors may alter them once they use a particular whistle for years. For example, male dolphins prefer to change their whistles when they form an alliance with another dolphin.
There was also research that discovered that dolphin groups at sea routinely. They exchange whistles to identify each other and facilitate socializing. That said, when dolphins meet each other, they just engage immediately.
Did you know that dolphins emit whistles while they interact socially? This is true, especially if they were separated from pod members or relay their state. And aside from echolocation and signature whistles, dolphins also communicate non-vocally. This means they do not use their vocal area organs like their air sacs and larynx.
Dolphins also hit the water's surface hard using their tails. It's a non-vocal sign of discontent and can prevent predators. It could also be a way of signaling dolphin groups when it's time to leave the area. Researchers have also concluded that tail slapping is a sound that gets the attention and can be a way to signal effectively without vocalizing.
How do Dolphins Communicate to Humans?
The truth is that humans and dolphins communicate to a very limited degree. As you know, dolphins can learn skills from the instructions of humans and the expression of certain desires. Any humans who train dolphins will tell you that humans and dolphins can communicate in a limited fashion.
This limited communication involves learning trained tasks and expressing desires for things like food. Indeed, communication involves commands or thoughts. However, it stays uncracked.
How Do Man-made Sounds Affect Dolphins?
Sound is very important to dolphins' survival. They are known to have an acute sense of hearing and use it for communication. For example, they watch out for threats or predators on the surface or perhaps, find food. Also, having a sense of hearing also means echolocation to navigate the ocean and locate objects.
For years, man-made technology has been very steady. However, these technological advancements are new sounds being emitted and created in the ocean that may affect or confuse dolphins' sense of direction and hearing. One example is the artificial man-made sound by using sonar. It's what humans use to locate objects in the ocean and, of course, to navigate the ocean.
Even if sonar is a great invention, it helps people travel through the ocean safely. However, studies show that there is a possibility that sonar could end up confusing sea creatures such as whales and dolphins. Unfortunately, sonar causes them to lose their sense of direction.
After knowing how do dolphins communicate, you finally realize that there's something special about dolphins. No wonder why more and more people are fascinated and love to see dolphins. And while research continues knowing how do dolphins communicate, there is no doubt that people will continue to be amazed at their amiability and intelligence.
What we can do as human beings is to take good care of these mammals. We can start it by taking good care of the ocean in many ways we can. It's our duty to take good care of the ocean simply by not throwing garbage and chemicals. That way, dolphins can jump, swim, play, and of course, communicate easily.
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