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Scientists able to talk with dolphins using primitive language

Posted by Steve Busti Dolphins are amazing animals. The fact that they readily communicate with us is not surprising to me at all. What is surprising is that it has taken us humans this long to establish communication with our “second brightest creatures” on the planet. You would think that with we humans being the smartest, we would have tried interspecies communication like this a long time ago. ******************************************************************* Dolphins are the world’s second brightest creatures after humans and have many brain features associated with high intelligence. So clever are the aquatic mammals that scientists have frequently communicated with those in captivity by rewarding their responses with fish. But behavioural biologists have now carried out two-way communication with dolphins in the wild in the first study of its kind. Dr Denise Herzing and colleagues at the Wild Dolphin Project in Jupiter, Florida, established a shared, primitive form of language using sounds, symbols and props. ‘Many studies communicate with dolphins, especially in captivity, using fish as a reward,’ Dr Herzing told ‘But it’s rare to ask dolphins to communicate with us.’ The experiment revolved around both dolphins and humans asking each other for props such as balls and scarves. A large underwater keyboard formed the focus of the study; each key was painted with a different symbol and emitted a precisely pitched whistle. When a dolphin pressed a certain key with her nose, researchers would throw the corresponding prop into the water. Should the dolphin instead decide to whistle the pitch that a certain key would emit, then that prop would be thrown in. Over the course of three years, the scientists played with the dolphins for 40 half-hour sessions.

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