Most of us are aware just how incredible Dolpins are. But there is still so much to learn about them. It has been known that Dolphins, like birds, are known copy-cats, but as far as anyone knew their mimicry had always been confined to the time right after hearing an odd sound. That was until a group of five captive dolphins in France were recently studied.

The dolphins, who were all captive born, had never had the opportunity to hear a whale sing except on the soundtrack to their daily shows at the French aquatic park Planète Sauvage. Buried within the soundtrack along with music and bird calls, was a couple of minutes of whale songs. What was discovered was that the dolphins who were recorded at night were making whale-like noises.

Although the dolphins were never heard mimicking that whale song during or after shows, when researchers recorded all of the dolphin vocalizations for nine days and eight nights between November 2008 and May 2009, they heard 25 instances of dolphin sounds never heard before. These strange noises sounded very much like whale calls and occurred only at night during dolphin "rest periods," mostly between midnight and 3 a.m.

To test their theory the researchers used 20 volunteers to identify the different sounds between the whales and dolphins. The volunteers correctly identified the dolphin whistles as dolphin whistles and whale song as whale song 88 percent to 99 percent of the time. But as if to confirm the dolphin's whale speak, the listeners misinterpreted the dolphin's whale-like whistles as real whale song 72 % of the time.

Since the Planète Sauvage dolphins only made the whale sounds at night most likely when they're sleeping or at least resting, this suggests that they could be rehearsing their daily shows in their minds at night. It is also highly possible that the dolphins are asleep while making the whale-like noises, therefore essentially sleep-talking in 'whale.'

All of these findings were reported online in the journal Frontiers in Comparative Psychology on Dec. 29, 2011. The excitement of all of this is that these findings now open up very large opportunities for future research on dolphin learning processes and mental representations.

Responses to "Research has found that Dolphins sleep talk in Whale songs (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    with some humor , I say is incredible how useless the human seems to feel without tampering into the natural order. I think the removal from true environment has them considering the gentic disposition as it is supposed to be . Energy is strange and our rest time is a place where we may loosen the 'whats expected of us' however it may not reverse or heal the true harm one human may do in ones exploration of doubt in oneself by the exploitation of another species.

  2. Anonymous says:

    having said that , that smile looks like jack nicholson ...but I doubt a dolphin would consider mandating curiousity of actors in an underwater bubble to consider emotions....x

Write a comment