View Full Version : Dolphins have 'longest social memory' among non-humans .....Dolphin Right !!

7th August 2013, 16:40

7 August 2013 Last updated at 01:04

Dolphins have 'longest social memory' among non-humansMatt McGrath
By Matt McGrath

Environment correspondent, BBC News


Dolphin Kai was one of the dolphins in the study, he was 16 years old when this picture was taken

Forget about elephants - scientists say that dolphins have the longest memories yet
found in a non-human species. Researchers in the US say that even after 20 years of
separation, dolphins could recall the whistles of former companions.The authors believe
that these long-term memories are a product of the complex social connections that
dolphins have evolved.The research is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society
In the study, the scientists used information on the relationships between 56 captive
bottlenose dolphins that have been moved for breeding purposes between six different
zoos and aquariums in the US and Bermuda.

University of Chicago

The records, dating back decades, showed which of the dolphins had been housed together.

Total recall

The researchers then played recordings to the dolphins on underwater speakers of the
signature whistles of animals they had once lived with, and measured their responses.

"When they are familiar with the call, the dolphins are more likely to approach the
speakers for longer periods of time," said Dr Jason Bruck from the University of Chicago
who carried out the study.

"They will maintain contact with the speaker - if they are unfamiliar with the call they
are more likely to ignore what I am playing. It's unprecedented in the study of animal
behaviour to find memories this long."

Dr Bruck highlighted the case of two female dolphins called Allie and Bailey. They had
once lived together in the Florida keys when they were very young.


dolphins The scientists say that the complicated nature of their social groupings impact
their ability to recall whistles Bailey now lives in Bermuda but when a recording of Allie
was played, she instantly responded in even though it was was 20 years and six months
since they had been in contact. Dr Bruck says this type of response was typical.
Compared to unfamiliar calls, there was a clear pattern in the data where dolphins
responded significantly more to whistles from animals they had once known, even if
they hadn't seen or heard them in decades.

To check that the dolphin's response was due to recognition of a former companion, Dr
Bruck would also play a test recording of an unfamiliar bottlenose that was the same
age and gender as the familiar animal.

Nuclear family

The researchers believe that the complex nature of dolphin social systems is behind the
long term memory effect. In the ocean, dolphins have a fluid social arrangement that
scientists term a "fission-fusion" model. They may leave one group and join others
many times in their lifetimes.

Continue reading the main story
Intelligent cetacean behaviour


A baby bottle-nose dolphin with her mother, in a Tokyo aquarium
Dolphins taking part in an experiment had to press one of two levers to distinguish
between sounds, some of which were very similar. By pressing a third lever, they were
able to tell the researchers they wanted to "pass" on a particular test because it was too
hard. "When you place dolphins in a situation like that they respond in exactly the same
way humans do," said Dr Lori Marino. "They are accessing their own minds and thinking
their own thoughts."
A number of captive dolphins were rewarded with fish in return for tidying up their tank.
One of them ripped up a large paper bag, hid away the pieces, and presented them one
at a time to get multiple rewards.

"It is important for them to recall the calls of dolphins they have had previous
encounters with, to decide whether or not that's someone they want to approach when
they hear that whistle about a mile out, or whether they want to avoid that individual,"
said Dr Bruck.

"Having a long term social recognition for that ecological reason can be the difference
between an animal having a very negative social interaction and a positive one."

According to the researchers, a dolphin's abilities to recall events indicate that the
cetaceans have a level of cognitive sophistication comparable to humans, chimpanzees
and elephants. While elephants are also reputed to have extremely long memories of up
to 20 years, there is little scientific evidence of their abilities outside of family
relationships. In this research paper, the dolphins were able to remember family
members as well as strangers.

In recent weeks, another study has shown that dolphins have their own signature
whistles that appear to have the same function as names do for humans.


Dolphin Memories Last for Decades


Published on 6 Aug 2013

Recent PhD graduate Jason Bruck of the University of Chicago has performed the first
systematic study to show multi-decade long-term memory in a non-human species.
Dolphins have social memory for each other's unique signature whistles for at least 20
years. Interestingly, kin and non-kin remembered equally well. Humans can remember
photographs of faces for upwards of 47 years, but faces change. Dolphin whistles
remain stable, meaning that this could be the longest recognition system in the world.
This research sheds new light on the potential for long-term memory in non-human
species and allows a better understanding of how complex social patterns may affect
social memory.

7th August 2013, 16:44
This hot on the heels of an article last week................


Dolphins 'call each other by name'

23 July 2013 Last updated at 00:02

Dolphins 'call each other by name' By Rebecca Morelle

Science reporter, BBC World Service

Bottlenose dolphin Researchers have long suspected dolphins use distinctive whistles to identify themselves Continue reading the main story
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Scientists have found further evidence that dolphins call each other by "name".

Research has revealed that the marine mammals use a unique whistle to identify each other.


A team from the University of St Andrews in Scotland found that when the animals hear
their own call played back to them, they respond.


The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr Vincent Janik, from the university's Sea Mammal Research Unit, said: "(Dolphins)
live in this three-dimensional environment, offshore without any kind of landmarks and
they need to stay together as a group.

"These animals live in an environment where they need a very efficient system to stay in touch."

Signature whistles

It had been-long suspected that dolphins use distinctive whistles in much the same way
that humans use names.Previous research found that these calls were used frequently,
and dolphins in the same groups were able to learn and copy the unusual sounds.
But this is the first time that the animals response to being addressed by their "name"
has been studied.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
Most of the time they can't see each other, they can't use smell underwater... and they also don't tend to hang out in one spot”
End Quote
Dr Vincent Janik

University of St Andrews

To investigate, researchers recorded a group of wild bottlenose dolphins, capturing each
animal's signature sound.They then played these calls back using underwater speakers.

"We played signature whistles of animals in the group, we also played other whistles in
their repertoire and then signature whistles of different populations - animals they had
never seen in their lives," explained Dr Janik.The researchers found that individuals only
responded to their own calls, by sounding their whistle back.The team believes the
dolphins are acting like humans: when they hear their name, they answer. Dr Janik said
this skill probably came about to help the animals to stick together in a group in their
vast underwater habitat.

He said: "Most of the time they can't see each other, they can't use smell underwater,
which is a very important sense in mammals for recognition, and they also don't tend to
hang out in one spot, so they don't have nests or burrows that they return to."

The researchers believe this is the first time this has been seen in an animal, although
other studies have suggested some species of parrot may use sounds to label others in
their group.Dr Janik said that understanding how this skill evolved in parallel very
different groups of animals could tell us more about how communication developed in


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7th August 2013, 16:50


I did a thread about this .......


Published on 22 Jan 2013

Dolphins may be one of the planet's smartest creatures, but one thing they lack are
opposable thumbs. However, they are clever enough to recognize that, in a pinch,
they can approach humans to get help with those hard to reach spots.

In this video, a bottle nosed dolphin with limited mobility due to a hook and fishing
line restricting a pectoral fin, approaches some divers for help. Diving instructor
Keller Laros noticed that the dolphin was hanging around them, and that it wasn't
able to move freely. Closer inspection revealed the ocean debris lodged in the fin.

Thankfully, the dolphin not only allowed the divers to attempt to work the line and
hook out of the fin, but actually shifted its body to make it easier.

The divers were able to remove the fishing line which allowed increased movement
for the animal. Unfortunately, the hook was not able to be removed.

7th August 2013, 17:10
What More proof is needed ..........

Grieving Dolphin Carries Dead Calf Around For Days,
Seen During Dana Point Whale Watching Safari


Published on 27 Mar 2013

Whale watchers aboard Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari (
http://www.dolphinsafari.com) had an unexpected and heartbreaking
encounter with a pod of bottlenose dolphins yesterday. A deceased dolphin calf was
being carried by an adult bottlenose dolphin on its back.

"I believe this calf has been dead for many days, possibly weeks," explains Capt.
Dave Anderson, "you can see the flesh is decaying. In my nearly twenty years on
the water whale watching I have never seen this behavior. Nor have I ever seen
anything quite as moving as this mother who refuses to let go of her poor calf."

This video sends a powerful message about how much a dolphin can care. It is a
window into a dolphins heart. This animal is laboring under the strain of carrying
this dead animal on its back day and night is probably keeping it near the surface
so the departed dolphin can breathe. We can assume this because dolphins do not
normally swim with their dorsal fins sticking out of the water continuously like this
bottlenose did. We can only imagine what happened; over half of all bottlenose
calves die from disease and predators before their second birthday, and since we
know that the family unit in dolphin pods is the mother and calf, this is almost
certainly a mother and calf pair. Did mom start off helping her weak, sick offspring
swim to the surface to breathe for days till the tiny dolphin died? When will she give
up on her calf? Will she continue carrying her deceased on her back until the
carcass begins to disintegrate? This poor grieving mother dolphin takes us, without
words, to a place where as one of our passengers said in the video "humans and
dolphins are not so different."

The pair were surrounded by other dolphins, almost as if they were being
protected, during this profoundly sad time. The dolphin was seen an hour later by
another boat still carrying the calf.

Scientists estimate that 308,000 dolphins and whales die every year worldwide
because of fishing gear entanglement. Captain Dave organized Orange County's
first whale disentanglement group in 2008 and has successfully disentangled
several gray whales, including Lily, whose disentanglement made national
headlines. Capt. Dave authored the award winning book, "Lily, A Gray Whale's
Odyssey", a magnificent photographic journey of a gray whale's migration. For
more information visit http://www.dolphinsafari.com

All audio and video footage is copyright David Anderson/DolphinSafari.com and
may not be used without permission.

Captain Dave's Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari offers daily, year-round, dolphin
and whale watching trips from Dana Point, California, aboard a hi-tech catamaran
sailboat with Eye-to-Eye Underwater Viewing Pods and LIVE broadcasting from

Science Bulletins: Whales Give Dolphins a Lift


Uploaded on 10 Jan 2012

Many species interact in the wild, most often as predator and prey. But recent
encounters between humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins reveal a playful side
to interspecies interaction. In two different locations in Hawaii, scientists watched
as dolphins "rode" the heads of whales: the whales lifted the dolphins up and out of
the water, and then the dolphins slid back down. The two species seemed to
cooperate in the activity, and neither displayed signs of aggression or distress.
Whales and dolphins in Hawaiian waters often interact, but playful social activity
such as this is extremely rare between species. The latest Bio Bulletin from the
Museum's Science Bulletins program presents the first recorded examples of this
type of behavior. Visitors to AMNH may view the video in the Hall of Biodiversity
until February 9, 2012.


It is still a dangerous place out in the ocean for all animals..


Yet in a different part of the ocean they live
together, whether there is more food available
or some other reason, there is no conflict at
the time of filming.

Dolphins Playing with Orcas Johnstone Straight BC


william r sanford72
7th August 2013, 19:23
really great thread!!!thank you.william

7th August 2013, 19:59
I just love Dolphins. They also have psychic communication with us, I believe.

My daughter first real friend was a spotted dolphin (150 pounds) met during therapies. My daughter had a dream about 3 months before her female Dolphin friend died. She dreamed that when she would go back to Florida, her dolphin would not be there anymore. And this is exactly what happened, her dolphin had died in the meantime. Later on, my daughter had a few dreams with her dolphin, the latter telling her she was fine and loved her.