Dolphins – bit more information March 2012

Recently the New Scientist has run a number of articles on Dolphins and their communication.

animalnav.org has already begun to discuss Dolphin communication see other postsOur key point on this is that most “researchers” are allergic to the very idea of Telepathy but this is the very word that describes how dolphins communicate together. Scientists will, of course, make every effort to cast their research and questions in “acceptable Classic Science” as telepathy cannot be described by existing science, but we are working with people developing the science behind telepathy.

In the article “The human dolphin” Lori Marino (a comparative neuroanatomist) from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia said:  “The question is why we have not “cracked” communication in dolphins.  We think in discrete terms because that is the kind of animal we are.  We research a whistle repertoire for dolphins and try to figure what the whistles mean as  discrete sounds.  It has not got us that far.  It may be we are going down the wrong path.”

She goes on to say that she suspects that dolphins share basic human emotions like love and a sense of humour.  All those working with dolphins just know this to be true.

And finally said: “it is interesting to think that they may be an example of a species which has taken the herd mentality mind and jacked it up to a whole new level of complexity.”

In the article: “Of course” we say!  
We agree looking for communication in dolphin’s whistles and clicks is the wrong path because we believe that dolphins use their whistles and clicks in order to alert others and to direct their attention to another dolphin.  It is a bit like calling out an individual name to attract attention.  Just like we would shout “Paul” to get his attention and then go over and chat.

We believe that dolphins communicate by telepathy just like the Aborigines who call this “head talk”.  Telepathy really does emotion not facts so much.  There can be no secrets if you can communicate mind to mind. Importantly communication is instantaneous and is seen in hunting and other of their activities.

In the article: Dolphins call each other by name. 
This article confirms that the Dolphins use clicks and whistles to call each other. Stephanie King et al of the University of St Andrews UK monitored 179 pairs of Dolphins off Florida between 1988 and 2004 and found that that 10 actually copied each others call sign and this used to contact each other when they were separated.

Do Dolphins have a concept of Death?
Joan Gonzalvo of the Tethys Research Institute based in Milan has been observing the bottle nosed Dolphin and has seen a mother frantically trying to save her still borne dead baby calf, and another time a pod trying to save a dying calf but when it died they knew that they had done their best and left  the body to sink.  This behaviour mirrors human grieving behaviour, we think that dolphins with huge brains and a very social lifestyle must grieve and feel the same palette of emotions as humans.  This is the simplest explanation and makes so much sense.  Ingrid Visser of the Orca Research Trust in Tutukaka New Zealand has witnessed similar behaviour and found that when there are pilot whale strandings “when one died the others would stop when passing by, as if to acknowledge or confirm that it was dead. If we tried to get them to move past without stopping, they would fight back to go back to the dead animal.”

Summary
We believe that there is no reason why animals should not have much of a human’s traits as we evolved from the same place so we would be surprised if a lot of our basic emotions are not mirrored by animals.  People working with horses say that this is true.  It seems so obvious to us that dolphins in their water world would use a totally different communication strategy to us as they do not have our hands to build things with so that their communication needs are different.  We think that scientists trying to communicate with dolphins by trying to translate their sounds are wasting their time as this is not how dolphins operate.  There is much research to show that Dolphins can read humans emotions and react to them.  There are many storied of terrified humans on the point of drowning being saved by dolphins.

Richard Nissen
Editor

The Human Dolphin  New Scientist  24/31 December 2011
Dolphins call each other by name New Scientist   10 September 2011
Do Dolphins have a concept of death New Scientist   3 September  2011

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