University of St Andrews
 
 

School of Biology News Centre

item 912
[08-03-2012 to 31-12-2012]


News Item:
How You Doin': Dolphins Use Whistles to Say Hello

What does a dolphin say when it crosses oceanic paths with other dolphins? Hello, of course, followed by a formal introduction that’s relayed through a high-pitched “signature whistle.” Marine biologists from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have long been studying dolphin’s cacophonous communication style — including a series of clicks, pulses and whistles — while the animal is in captivity. But until recently, they questioned how the signature whistles were used in the wild.

Now, they have an answer. The researchers used underwater microphones to follow pods of bottlenose dolphins in St. Andrews Bay. After weeding out some of the other sounds the animals make, they were able to determine that dolphins utilize their “signature whistles” when meeting up with other pods of dolphins — much like a catchphrase. Think, “Hey, how’s it going?” but in whistle form.

“It’s not just ‘I’m so-and-so,’ but the other information also in that whistle is, ‘I’m so-and-so, and I’m interested in making contact in a friendly way, I’m not attacking,’” Vincent Janik, one of the study’s researchers. “What I found really rewarding is to be out there and see how they communicate amongst themselves,” Janik said. “These are wild groups that are just doing whatever they’re doing. It’s really the first time that we can pinpoint down two individual groups and how they interact in a vocal domain, which is really cool.”

see here for further details
contact: Prof Vincent Janik


 

Biology News Archive:

Opportunities



Research Blog



Upcoming Events
  • Linux for Genomics Course at the University of Edinburgh
    speaker: (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Genomics)

    building: Other
    room:
    see also: additional details
    host/contact: Dr Daniel Barker

    LINUX FOR GENOMICS COURSE
    Wednesday 21 January 2015, 09:00 - 17:00, University of Edinburgh

    This 1-day workshop is specifically aimed at people without any command-line experience.

    The following topics will be covered: - Introduction to Linux - Getting out of trouble - File system - File manipulation - Accessing files - Pipes and redirects - Filtering / manipulating file content - Shell scripts - Process management - BEDTools - bioawk - seqtk - SAMtools - tabix

    More information about this workshop, including how to register, can be found at here.

    Daniel Barker


    refID: 1446

    hide details

  • Staff Council Meeting
    speaker: ()

    building: Other
    room: Senate Room, South Street
    see also: additional details
    host/contact:

    refID: 1463

    hide details



Events
Biology, BSRC

all University events | submit an event