Humans and dolphins ‘talk’ using primitive language in new studyBy ANI
Thursday, February 17, 2011
LONDON - In a first, behavioural biologists were able to ‘talk’ with dolphins through a primitive form of language using sounds.
“Many studies communicate with dolphins, especially in captivity, using fish as a reward. But it’s rare to ask dolphins to communicate with us,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Denise Herzing as telling Wired.com.
The experiment revolved around both dolphins and humans asking each other for props such as balls and scarves.
A large underwater keyboard was used for 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 a period of three years, scientists found that while young males were less interested in interacting with humans, young females enjoyed the game.
“This is when the females have a lot of play time, before they are busy being mothers,” said Herzing.
The study was published in the Acta Astronautica journal. (ANI)