Dolphins can transmit other information by changing the volume of their whistles

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97e9a0b8835c89d - Dolphins can transmit other information by changing the volume of their whistles

“it looks like nonverbal communication we humans use, based on morphological changes, like focusing on a specific area or fading in and out, so that we know when it’s our turn to talk to each other.” Brittany Jones, from the national marine mammal foundation in San Diego, California, said, “this finding suggests that dolphins may use frequency as identity markers and use amplitude to transmit additional information to each other.”

for nearly 60 years, scientists have been studying the characteristic frequency of the whistle of ordinary bottlenose dolphins. However, it is still difficult to capture the amplitude difference of underwater animals moving in different directions

“now, the underwater microphone technology known as’ hydrophone’has been improved, coupled with the emergence of more advanced sound analysis equipment and more controlled recording environment, making the study of the amplitude of dolphin whistle more accurate.” Jones said

her team used this technique to record 50 repeated iconic whistles of eight adult dolphins living in the natural seawater paddock in San Diego Bay, which is also part of the U.S. Navy’s Marine Mammal Program

consistent with previous studies, the unique signature whistles emitted by dolphins have a very fixed frequency pattern. However, its volume mode has changed greatly between whistle and whistle

when they whistle at a lower frequency, they usually increase the volume. In addition, there is no clear amplitude pattern between dolphins or in the whistle of the same dolphin. At each whistle, they make some parts of the cry larger and others smaller

at first, Jones was surprised by the changes in amplitude patterns. She initially wondered whether they were only random. “But then I thought, if the signature is always so fixed, it will be difficult to communicate different things, just like saying the same word over and over again.” “So this could be a new way for dolphins to encode additional information,” Jones said

at present, we can only imagine what volume mode means to other dolphins. If so, these highly social creatures may have a lot to say

“what do they not want to tell each other?” Jones said, “location, arousal level, reproductive status, whether there are predators around… The sky may be the limit in what dolphins can communicate.”