Dolphins are capable of “highly developed spoken language” which closely resembles human communication, scientists have suggested.
While it has long been acknowledged dolphins are of high intelligence and can communicate within a larger pack, their ability to converse with each other individually has been less understood.
But researchers at the Karadag Nature Reserve, Feodosia, Crimea, believe the pulses, clicks and whistles – of up to five “words” – made by dolphins are listened to fully by another before a response is made.
“Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people,” wrote lead researcher Dr Vyacheslav Ryabov in the study, published in the journal Mathematics and Physics.
Dr Ryabov said each pulse produced by a dolphin “is different from another” in its time span and the frequencies it emits.
“In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin’s spoken language,” Dr Ryabov wrote.
However: “The dolphin’s speech unfortunately lies beyond the time and frequency characteristics of the human hearing, and is thus unavailable to humans.”