Dolphins have names, and use them (video)

We’ve been on a roll recently with dolphins, and this latest story is just as interesting.

Much like humans, dolphins have names for each other. They call out each other by specific “whistle” signatures, including using unique tones of voice when calling each other.

Discovery reports that bottlenose dolphins actually call out the names of their loved ones when separated from them.  They’re the only other animals, besides humans, that have been found to do this.  They also can call out their own name to introduce themselves.

Amazing.

“A dolphin emits its signature whistle to broadcast its identity and announce its presence, allowing animals to identify one another over large distances and for animals to recognize one another and to join up with each other,” King explained. “Dolphin whistles can be detected up to 20 km away (12.4 miles) depending on water depth and whistle frequency.”

Another type of dolphin, spinner dolphins, even spin and splash in the water to “talk” to each other. One splash may be a warning while another means it’s time to mate. If you haven’t seen spinner dolphins before, they loads of fun to watch.  Here are a few images from this amazing (and short) National Geographic video on them:

Spinner dolphins, from National Geographic on YouTube

Spinner dolphins, from National Geographic on YouTube

Spinner dolphins, from National Geographic on YouTube

Spinner dolphins, from National Geographic on YouTube

And to refresh your memory of some of the other amazing dolphin stories, here are a few from recent weeks:


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

Share This Post

  • Sweetie

    I know what dolphins are saying to the divers around them: Why do you keep fucking up our oceans? Oh, and thanks for all the fishing line and bottle rings.

  • Glenn I

    It’s an unconventional family? Please. It’s totally conventional FOR DOLPHINS.

    Pretty footage. Sex! and bellyflops!

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