Latest in Science

Image credit:

Researchers say dolphins speak to each other in full sentences

'SeaQuest DSV', here we come.
Andrew Tarantola, @terrortola
September 12, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

It's not just the family dog that can understand complex language. Researchers at Karadag Nature Reserve in Feodosia, Ukraine have made an incredible discovery: dolphins are able to speak to one another in complete sentences containing up to five words apiece.

We've known for years that dolphins are ludicrously intelligent creatures and regularly signal each other to warn of danger using clicks and whistles. However researchers at Karadag managed to record a pair of Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, Yasha and Yana, carrying on what can only be described as a conversation. Using a new type of high-fidelity underwater microphone capable of discerning the dolphins' various sounds, researchers found that the animals use "words" and, even more incredibly, patiently wait until the other has finished with its "sentence" before replying.

All we need to do now is figure out what they're actually saying. Past research has translated a select number of dolphin "words" that identified individuals and alerted them to the presence of food. But currently, trying to understand what Yasha and Yana are talking about is like trying to follow a conversation in Mandarin if all you know how to say is, "Hey Jeff, there's cheese here." Further research is clearly needed but this is a huge discovery that could eventually allow us to speak with another species.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

View
100 million people watch YouTube on TVs each month

100 million people watch YouTube on TVs each month

View
PlayStation is the latest to join the Facebook ad boycott

PlayStation is the latest to join the Facebook ad boycott

View
Amazon-owned Ring is preparing its first smart light bulb

Amazon-owned Ring is preparing its first smart light bulb

View
House approves $100 billion in broadband funding for rural areas

House approves $100 billion in broadband funding for rural areas

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr