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.

Know More
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 do dolphins move?

    A:

    According to the National Marine Life Center, dolphins move by pushing their powerful tail flukes up and down in the water. This tail movement pushes water back and propels the dolphin forward. To steer through the water, dolphins use their pectoral fins and their dorsal fins.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where can you find reputable information about the great white shark?

    A:

    Reputable information about the great white shark is available on websites for organizations such as Ocean Portal, the Florida Museum of Natural History and National Geographic. As of 2015, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the great white shark as a vulnerable species.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • 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:

    Do dolphins have a backbone?

    A:

    Dolphins belong to the subphylum Vertebrata, meaning that dolphins are animals with backbones. Oceanic dolphins are toothed whales within the family Delphinidae, while river dolphins are included in the family Platanistidae.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore