Q:

How do dolphins talk?

A:

Quick Answer

Dolphins start communicating from birth by squawking, whistling, clicking and squeaking, according to National Geographic. Members of a pod sometimes vocalize in varying patterns simultaneously, much like people holding different conversations at a party.

Continue Reading
How do dolphins talk?
Credit: Eco/UIG Universal Images Group Getty Images

Full Answer

Dolphins are intelligent mammals that team up in groups called pods to perform tasks. Aside from verbal communication, dolphins also communicate non-verbally through jaw claps, bubble blowing, fin caresses and other body gestures. Scientists believe that dolphins talk about many things, such as their age and emotional state. They also call for help when they need backup in tough situations. For example, a spotted dolphin who was bulled by two bottlenose dolphins the previous day came back the next day with a few friends to chase away the bottlenose dolphins, says Denise Herzing, who studies dolphins in the Bahamas.

Dolphins talk in a distinct way, although they don't have vocal cords, according to PawNation. They use special "lips" in their nasal passages to produce sounds. Pushing air through these lips causes the tissues to vibrate, forming sounds at varying frequencies. Dolphins produce different noises in patterns similar to words in human languages, although scientists have not yet been able to decode their language fully. Each dolphin has a "signature whistle" that makes it unique from other dolphins. This special vocalization allows dolphins to identify other dolphins without sight.

Learn more about Marine Mammals

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How much do dolphins weigh?

    A:

    Dolphins weigh approximately 125 lbs. to 22,000 lbs. depending on the species, with the most popular dolphin species, the bottlenose dolphin, weighing in at 1,100 lbs. Although orcas are often called killer whales, they are actually the biggest dolphin in the world.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do dolphins sleep?

    A:

    Dolphins sleep by a process called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep. This kind of sleep is believed to help dolphins and other creatures recover from their daily activities.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do dolphins reproduce?

    A:

    Dolphins reproduce by engaging in intercourse during the female's ovulation period. A female may mate with more than one male dolphin during her fertile time, and males may even travel together with one fertile female and take turns mating with her. Competition can get fierce among male dolphins during a female's estrus.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How big do dolphins get?

    A:

    Dolphins grow to different sizes, with the bottlenose dolphin growing to be approximately 10 to 14 feet and weighing 1,100 lbs. while the orca whale grows to approximately 21 to 23 feet long and weights in at 6 to 10 tons. The orca whale is actually a dolphin and not a member of the whale family, reports Defenders of Wildlife.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore