Do you speak Dolphin?

If humans are able to replicate noises of other species of animals, then why aren’t other animals able to do the same? Recent studies have discovered that in fact they are. Although the technique of imitating another species language is extremely rare, it has recently been found that Orca Whales are able to do so

“Killer whales, or Orcas, emit three main types of vocalization: clicks, pulse calls, and whistles, with pulse calls being the dominant form of communication.” When a group of whales are together for long amounts of time they tend to begin emitting similar sound to communicate with eachother  , thus forming their own “dialect”. According to studies recorded by a University of San Diego grad student and a SeaWorld research scientist it was found that “Orcas that were socialized with bottlenose dolphins started making similar sounds as the dolphins.”

Right now it is not exactly known how the whales learn to replicated the noises that they hear. However, birds who exhibit the same abilities can be easily studied due to the small size of their brains. Although we can’t exactly compare the brain of a whale and a bird it does give scientists a reference point and a strong basis for comparison.

A scientist conducted study showed that whales who were placed with dolphins made distinctly different sounds as opposed to whales that were surrounded by other whales. It is interesting to know that there are other animals who can replicated sounds just like us. Orca whales have been around for many years and this incredible ability has just been discovered. Who knows how many other animals there are that have this special ability that we have just not discovered yet.





3 thoughts on “Do you speak Dolphin?

  1. Richard Michael Francis

    I’ve always wondered if other animals make different noises to communicate or whether it really was just us humans that did. Not to sound self centered as a species but we communicate in so many different ways and are yet to really pick up on other species’ languages. It’s really interesting to see that animals such as dolphins and orcas do in fact have their own “dialect” and that it really isn’t just us. However seeing that some other animals communicate made me wonder if all animals did, just in unique languages with the ability to pick up on frequencies that we cannot. I looked into it and found this website listing several examples of other animals that hear in far different frequency levels than we do, which may be the key to deciphering other species’ languages.

  2. Jennifer Lynn Finkelstein

    This blog post is super interesting and instantly caught my attention! Someone always told me that dolphins and other marine animals were very intelligent and have a language made of clicks and other sounds. I think that is so cool that they were able to figure out a way to communicate with one another. I also find how whales communicate fascinating as well. It is so cool that they can make those long song sounding noises that only they understand. Hopefully in the future we create technology that allows us to figure out what they are signaling to each other.

  3. Allison Voegeli

    I think that dogs try to mimic our noises as well. I have a nine year old Shih Tzu, and when my mom talks to him she speaks in a very high pitched voice. When she does this, my dog replies by howling back at her. We consider my dog to be “talking” when he does this. Here is link about dogs mimicking human voices:
    In addition to this, I found a study done in 2012 about a “talking” whale. The audio is not very believable, but if it is real then I think that whales definitely can mimic our noises. Here is a link to the article:

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