A memory like a dolphin   Leave a comment

The marine mammals recognize conspecifics from which they were separated for decades, at their call again.

During the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union faced each other armed to the teeth, but they were on a field together: They set up a research institute in 1963 – in Vienna! – In which biologists because both countries went to learn the language of dolphins and interact with the animals. Succeeds, soon turns out that the “fish with a uterus” – of this, from the Greek “Delphus”, comes the name -. Humans are far superior in wisdom, save the world peace This is of course fiction, it was designed by Leo Szilard, a Hungarian physicist who was in the U.S. in the development of the atomic bomb here and life hoped that the reason science can break the power of totalitarianism. On the side he wrote in 1961 “The Voice of the Dolphins”. But only fiction that was again not many marine biologists, the communication of the dolphins had turned the idea of a cross-species conversation hung in the air. Come about, it is not, but still: Two weeks ago was the first time shown that certain calls – “signature whistles”, every individual has a different – for Dolphins are what are names for us.They react when them their own “signature whistle” or a friend is played from a tape, they ignore calls completely stranger. And all that they do in the wild, that was the most exciting thing about this experiment ( Pnas 22 7 . ). For in captivity dolphins have already developed many skills that are perhaps due to the art world. But there they have now also shown something they may not have learned in dealing with people, you have a memory for conspecifics that they have not seen for years and their “signature whistles” they have not heard at this time. Jason Bruck (Chicago) has been shown to 56 dolphins in the United States at six zoos and aquariums – including the Disney World -. Haltedsharing a common breeding program that animals are transported back and forth repeatedly. For example, Allie once lived together with Baily in the Dolphin Connection in Florida, then it was located somewhere else over, that was 20 years ago and six months. Bruck and now has both the “signature whistle” played to the other. They recognized him, they had him in mind, and swam to the speaker for calls of unknown conspecifics they did not.

The lifestyle needs memory

The world record is among the animals. Even elephant is said to have a long memory – this is based on anecdotal reports rather than on experiments – and corvids and apes recognize some old friends again also.It is probably due to the way of life, because all these animals are “fission-fusion groups,” they are a long time together, then migrate from some, later they meet again. Many animals also optically characterize the faces of the other one – about sheep – in the world of dolphins is not that the water is bleak, there’s only the sound. Transmits really something that works for us as the name? “We do not know whether, when listening to, signature whistle ‘an image of the other dolphin in the head created,” concedes Bruck. He wants to clarify it in the next step, perhaps in conversation.

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Posted August 9, 2013 by kitokinimi in Uncategorized

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