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Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:24 pm
by Wizard of Oz
.. the following is an edited transcript of an extraordinary communication event in New Zealand ..
Sydney Morning Herald 12th March, 2008. A dolphin guided two stranded whales to safety after human attempts to keep the animals off a New Zealand beach failed, a conservation official said Wednesday.

Malcolm Smith, Conservation Department officer, had been working for over an hour and a half to save the two pygmy sperm whales which had repeatedly become stranded despite his attempts to push them back out to sea.

A bottlenose dolphin, named Moko by locals, appeared and guided the whales to safety after apparently communicating with them, Smith said. Moko arrived on the scene and he could hear the whales and the dolphin making noises, apparently to one another.

"The whales made contact with the dolphin and she basically escorted them about 200 metres parallel with the beach to the edge of the sandbar. Then she did a right-angle turn through quite a narrow channel and escorted them out to sea. There's been no sign of the whales since Monday, they haven't re-stranded."

"What the communication was I do not know, and I was not aware dolphins could communicate with pygmy sperm whales, but something happened that allowed Moko to guide those two whales to safety."
.. this to me is amazing that we have a reliable witness to inter-species communication .. whilst whale song has been reliably recorded from many species I am unaware that the songs of one species have been shown to be understood by those from another species of whale .. so much we still have to learn about these glorious mammals ..

WoZ in Aus 15/03/08

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:37 pm
by gdwdwrkr
Dolphins, in one documentary, when scientists played tapes of dolphin sounds, repeated the sounds, adding a little ditty at the end in an apparent attempt to see if the scientists could repeat it all back. The scientists, of course, could not. Most likely, they said, the dolphins were trying to determine our intelligence.

In this same documentary, when one diver was being approached by a large shark, dolphins appeared and drove the shark away with blasts of sonar.

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:57 pm
by Erik_Kowal
WoZ, this story was featured a couple of days ago on the front page of this site in the Language news section.

You can access the most recent Language news items here, and you will find the full archive of news stories here.

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:39 pm
by Tony Farg
Douglas Adams has been here before: So long and thanks for all the fish.

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:20 pm
by JANE DOErell
An article in BBC News Magzine notes "...it is also possible that the whales just saw a vaguely similar creature and followed it." The article has some elaboration upon several theories of communication that might be of interest.

BBC News Magazine

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:37 am
by Wizard of Oz
.. Erik I apologise unreservedly for having the temerity to attempt to encourage people to discuss this, admittedly to me, extrodinary event .. I also apologise for not having seen the item posted on the front page of this site in the Language news section." .. as moderator I will absolutely understand your reasons in deleting this post and its contents as it has already been covered on the front page of this site in the Language news section." .. I shall not take the opportunity to respond to those people who have posted here but await my inevitable fate of the moderator's falling digit on the delete button ..

Shamed WoZ 16/03/08

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:59 am
by Erik_Kowal
Just don't do it again.

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:06 pm
by Edwin F Ashworth
I'm sure WoZ didn't do it on p - er, deliberately.

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:32 pm
by Tony Farg
OPL Edwin!

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:46 pm
by PhilHunt
Has anyone read about the talking bonobo monkey Kanzi:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2617063.stm

I remember reading this back in 2003 and getting quite excited, but, I haven't heard any updates. Imagine if we could verbally cross-species communicate, not just with sign language. It could probably tell us alot about how we evolved language in humans.

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:30 am
by Edwin F Ashworth
Sadly, Kanzi has joined a group of Trappist Monkeys.

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:58 pm
by PhilHunt
I thought she left to join the Trapees Monks. :)

Re: Dolphin speaks to whale ??

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:03 pm
by Edwin F Ashworth
I'm fairly sure it wasn't a troupe of Marxist flunkeys.