Scientists may have caught dolphins holding an actual conversation and it is fascinating
According to a new study published by St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal, dolphins may display speech patterns that are extremely similar to humans. Thanks to an audio recording between two bottlenose dolphins at the Karadag Nature Reserve in Russia, scientists were able to study the distinct sounds and patterns animals used to communicate and suggested this evidence shows a more clear dolphin “language” than ever before captured.
The study indicates some pretty astounding levels of intelligent communication.
The researchers note that after analysis, "our experiments showed that the dolphins took turns in producing pulse packs and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other's [noises] before producing its own."
They even note that the unique sounds they heard, along with the pace and pattern at which they were heard, could indicate that dolphins were speaking a much more nuanced language than simply survival communication.
They added, "The fundamental difference between the dolphin exchange of information and the human conversation is in the characteristics of the acoustic signals of their spoken language."
Basically, if we can learn the patterns of their language, we can theoretically decode what they’re saying.
The Huffington Post, who first reported the story, made the excellent point that not every science professional is convinced that these findings automatically mean dolphins have a communication pattern as sophisticated as their human counterparts. Whether or not dolphins speak some sort of clear language has actually been a hot button issue amongst scientists.
She said, "There are a number examples of [the similarities between human and dolphin communication patterns] in the scientific literature. However, the current weight of evidence suggests that dolphins do not have a language that functions in the same way as human language."
The biggest issue many researchers have with believing dolphins are speaking like humans has to do with distinguishing the difference between communication and conversation. While these scientists seem to believe that their recording may show a conversation, lots of experts would argue that it takes a lot more evidence to prove this was more than just complicated communication.
No matter where you stand on the issue, at least we can all agree that dolphins are pretty amazing animals. They deserve a ton more research so we can better learn how to respect and understand them since they already bring us so much joy.