I'll give fair warning that my entire understanding of this study comes from a BBC article, so gawd knows what the facts really are, but this version is too awesome not to pass along. The "facts", as I understand them, are:
- There are two species of dolphins that often swim together (big Bottlenose and small Guyana).
- When swimming within Bottlenose-only groups, the big Bottlenose dolphins emit long, low frequency whistles to each other.
- When swimming within Guyana-only groups, the small Guyana dolphins emit high frequency whistles to each other.
- Sometimes the dolphins swim in mixed-species groups.
- The big Bottlenose dolphins often harass the small Guyana dolphins (assholes).
- When swimming in mixed-groups, the dolphins emit intermediate frequency whistles.
The kids over at Language Log have discussed the phenomenon of speaking gibberish in other languages before (see here) and now it appears dolphins do the same. I love it!
*Associate Researcher & Adjunct Professor, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales Departmento de Biologia, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras (that's a hell of a title!).