How DOLPHINS COMMUNICATE - Shapes and Characteristics

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Animals rely on communication systems to transmit information and, furthermore, their ability to communicate with varied and complex communication methods appears to be present in all species. Every living being on this planet can communicate, either with other individuals of the same species or with individuals of other species. Some animals that draw our attention because of how they communicate with each other and with other species, including us, are dolphins.

If you are interested in this topic, stay and keep reading because, in this Green Ecologist article, we propose to teach you how dolphins communicate.

How dolphins communicate with each other

The communication of dolphins can be given through various types of signals, whether they are speech signals, non-vocal acoustic, visual or tactile signals.

Vocal cues

Vocal signals can be pure tones, which include hissing, screeching, screaming, or pulsed sounds. For one thing, dolphins are incredible vocal mimics capable of reproducing human whistles with high precision. These mammals are capable of producing different whistles in different situations, including social situations, when separated from friends, or when they are happy or scared. This process is extremely complicated and how different species develop and use whistle communication has been studied extensively. It is known, for example, that in TursiopsAlso known as bottlenose dolphins, each individual produces their own characteristic whistle, a unique whistle which they develop throughout the first year of life. Pulsed sounds, on the other hand, are short sounds that occur in rapid succession at regular intervals.

Non-vocal acoustic signals

The communicative process of dolphins can also occur through a series of non-vocal sounds, that is, through sounds that are not produced using the organs within the vocal area of dolphins. These sounds include the blows of the tail on the surface of the water, the blows of the fin, both on the surface of the water as well as on their own body, sounds produced by quickly clenching their jaws, when they exhale or through blows of back when jumping and hitting the surface of the water or even producing streams of bubbles.

Visual cues

Within this group are included from gestures to movements and colorations. The most common visual cues include body colorations, dots and stripes, sexual dimorphism, body postures, gestures, behaviors synchronized with other dolphins, or aerial or jumping displays.

Tactile signals

These signals are based on rubbing your body with the body of other dolphins, as well as can be communicated by rubbing the fins with other dolphins. This type of communication is considered as signs of friendship.

How dolphins communicate with other living things

Dolphins can communicate with other cetaceans by using squeals and whistles. Beyond cetaceans, in some way that is still not very clear, dolphins are capable of communicating with other animals and with humans.

An example of the communication of wild dolphins with humans occurs in Laguna (Brazil), where the dolphins guide the fish towards the fishermen's nets and warn them when the nets are full by means of the slapping of their tails or heads against the water.

How dolphins make sounds

If you have ever wondered how dolphins make sound, you will surely be interested to know this has its origin in their nasal cavities, which are considered analogous to our vocal cords. The features of the dolphin language They are defined by using special lips located in your nostril or blowhole, so that the entry of air through these lips causes the vibration of your tissues, giving rise to sounds of different frequencies.

What is the name of the sound that dolphins make

Dolphins are capable of making a range of diverse sounds and, although the sound emitted by these cetaceans does not have a single name, the following are distinguished sounds that dolphins make:

  • The whistles.
  • The screaming.
  • The grunts.
  • The chirps.

Do dolphins talk?

Dolphins have brains that are larger and more complex than humans. Although the dolphin vocalization It is not the same as in humans and they do not articulate the information in the same way that we do, since they do not have vocal cords, dolphins "talk" to each other using the same process to make high-pitched sounds as humans.

Even though that him dolphin language it has not yet been well deciphered, it is known that the different sounds that they produce are used in a way not very different from the different words in human language. In this way, it is known that if, for example, a dolphin has been attacked, it can communicate what happened to the other dolphins and guide them in retaliation or retreat. In the same way, dolphins are also capable of sharing information about a nearby danger or the location of food.

Before continuing, if you are interested in learning about the feeding of these animals, here you can discover what dolphins eat and where they live.

What is dolphin sonar

The dolphin echolocation It can be thought of as a means of communication, but the reality is not this. Echolocation is not a form of communication, but a method that dolphins have to place objects or individuals of their environment through sounds.

East navigation system is based on the high-frequency clicking which bounce off the objects and return to the dolphins in the form of an echo, allowing them to make a mental image of their environment, obtaining the knowledge of the distances of each object through the delay in which it receives the echo. This system is especially useful for them when there is very little light, such as in murky waters in somewhat deep waters.

If you are interested in learning more about communication in the animal kingdom, we recommend this other post by Green Ecologist on How animals communicate. Also, if you want to discover more about these marine mammals, we encourage you to take a look at this other article on the Characteristics of dolphins.

If you want to read more articles similar to How dolphins communicate, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

  • Dolphin Communication Project. (2022). How do dolphins communicate. United States of America. Retrieved from:
  • LiveScience. (2022). Dolphins 'Talk' Like Humans, New Study Suggests. Future US, New York. Recovered from:
  • (2022). How do dolphins talk? Wild Sky Media. Recovered from:
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