January 21, 2012

Do Dolphins Speak Whale in Their Sleep?

Sara Reardon, Science Now


AP Photo

Péos, Mininos, Cécil, Teha, and Amtan are performing dolphins at the Planète Sauvage dolphinarium in Port-Saint-Père, France. Every day, as music and sounds of the sea play in the background, they show off their swimming, jumping, and ball-catching skills for an adoring audience and squawk and whistle just like dolphins should. But at night, they make strange noises that researchers believe are imitations of humpback whale songs included in the performance soundtrack. If so, the identification of this unexpected repertoire would mark the first time that dolphins have been heard to rehearse new sounds hours after hearing them rather than right away, providing insights into how they store and process...

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TAGGED: Sleep, Whales, Dolphins

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