Unlocking the Secrets of Dolphin Communication
Communication is as ancient as life itself. From the time when the first organisms appeared on Earth about three and a half billion years ago, communication has enabled species to thrive in a sometimes hostile world.
Chances are when you hear the word “communication,” you think of two people having a conversation, or a group of people talking … but human speech is only one method of communication.
Communication is defined simply as the exchange of information, and is by no means restricted to human beings nor to human speech. Language and communication are related, but not synonymous and language is something unique only to humans. Language allows us to convey infinitely complex messages using a learned set of abstract vocal symbols organized into a logical grammar. Language allows us to communicate with others next to us, with individuals in other rooms or other countries, and over time.
Although animals don’t communicate using language, they do posses their own complex systems that allow them to transfer information not only vocally, but also using tactile, visual and chemical signals. These signals can be sent, received and interpreted not just by members of the same species, but by other species as well. You don’t have to be a dog to understand the meaning of a wagging tail – it’s a visual signal that humans have learned to recognize after having lived in close quarters with our canine companions for thousands of years. Dolphins too can recognize vocal signals from humans. They also understand word order and syntax.
Just how do dolphins communicate? Are their communication systems anything like human language? What kind of information are they sharing? And, just how effectively can humans and animals communication with each other?
These and other questions will be explored in Dolphin Mysteries Unlocking the Secrets of Communication.