Featured Image Credit:Dolphins-World
By: Sarah Sharkey
A short-beaked common dolphin seems to have lost his family pod around the Firth of
Clyde. The lonely dolphin initially had problems communicating with the harbour
porpoises that are very common in the area. After spending some time in the area, he has
started to change his speech to communicate better with the porpoises there.
Kylie, the lonely dolphin, has been making friends with the other sea creatures in the area.
Mel Cosentino, a research student at the University of Strathclyde, has been studying the
underwater records of the dolphins and porpoises. Cosentino and volunteers set up
underwater microphones to study this interesting phenomena.
Typically, harbour porpoises have a peak frequency of 130 kHz. That is much higher than
the normal peak frequencies of common dolphins, which is around 100 kHz. Kylie has now
mastered these higher pitched frequencies and is able to communicate with harbour
It is almost like Kylie has mastered a completely new language. Just like when humans
learn a foreign language. Cosentino had this to say about the unique situation, “This vocal
learning ability has mainly been observed in captive individuals and few cases have been
reported for wild cetaceans. If further analysis shows this to be the case, it would be the
first time a common dolphin, either in captivity or the wild, has demonstrated an ability for
production learning, where it has learned to imitate another species.”
Hopefully, Kylie is enjoying his new home and new friends.
Read more from the source.