Dolphins Have Conversations Just Like Humans

Can dolphins talk? Yup!

Of course, none of their speech is intelligible to humans, as they communicate in clicks and whistles.

Even so, we have been able to train them to perform tricks in marine parks around the world, and now, we’re discovering that dolphins can not only communicate, but they can also carry out conversations with each other. For the first time ever, researchers have recorded a dolphin discussion.

At the Karadag Nature Reserve, in Feodosia, Ukraine, researchers used underwater microphones to record two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, named Yasha and Yana, making sounds in a pool. Like humans, dolphins have different voices and “speak” using different inflections in their language of clicks and whistles. In the case of Yasha and Yana, they were exchanging friendly banter, possibly discussing their favorite fish flavors and least favorite humans.

While the researchers couldn’t translate the dolphins’ speech, they could notice that the dolphins took turns talking and did not interrupt each other. Yasha listened intently to Yana before speaking, and Yana listened intently to Yasha before speaking.

This suggests that dolphins possess an intelligence (and consciousness) that exceeds our previous notions.

Knowing this, should we keep these smart mammals confined in tanks, or should we find a way to speak their language and forge an interspecies alliance?

Bottlenose Dolphins

The potential for dolphins communication abilities has long been a topic of scientific interest.