Wildlife Acoustics Blog

Dolphins

Dolphins call their closest companions by name

Dolphins call their closest companions by name

Have you ever had anyone mimic the way you speak? Chances are they weren’t trying to flatter you.

It just so happens that dolphins do it too, but for a very different reason. In fact, scientists are finding that the dolphins are actually calling their close companions by name.

You may be familiar with the clicks and whistles that make up typical dolphin communication. While it all sounds indistinguishable to us, each dolphin has its own signature whistle that differentiates itself - and other dolphins refer to them by copying that trademark sound. We haven’t seen anything like this behavior so far, except in humans.

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Super Mega Pod of Dolphins spotted off San Diego Coast!

Super Mega Pod of Dolphins spotted off San Diego Coast!

A pod of dolphins is a group of up to a dozen dolphins swimming together. A super pod is a much larger group, sometimes over a thousand dolphins. And a super mega-pod, well, that sounds like an escape vehicle from a 70s sci-fi movie. Actually, it was estimated that the enormous aggregation, which was spotted 7 miles from the coast of San Diego, spanned well over 35 square miles and contained about 100,000 dolphins. Can you imagine the amount of underwater communication in that scenario? We wish we were there with our SM2M+ Submersible bioacoustics recorder to catch the chatter!

More details and a picture of the super mega-pod

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