Tuesday, May 09, 2006

dolphins have names & prairie dogs can talk

This is so great. I saw an article yesterday which said that dolphins have names and call each other by name!
Because sight is limited in the ocean, dolphins create individual "name" calls to communicate their whereabouts to friends and families....A dolphin chooses its own name as an infant and uses it throughout its life. ...It seems like the animals hear what's around them, and then they make up their own whistle(.)...They either develop something original ... or they base it on parts of the whistles around them.... (T)he young dolphins want to make their call stand apart from the calls of their closest relatives. ...(D)olphins use these calls to let other dolphins know they're nearby. A dolphin will also call out its name if it's lost and distressed, hoping relatives will come to its aid.

How cute is that? "I'm Bert! I'm Bert!" help me I'm lost! When I went on the cruise in 2003 with my husband and his sister I taught them to say in Spanish "I'm lost and fat and I want two beers" (estoy perdita y gorda y quiero dos cervasas). I don't think the dolphins understand fat or beer, but the concept is the same.

Someday I will swim with dolphins.

Amazingly enough, there was another article linked to the dolphin one about prairie dogs being able to talk about humans.

Prairie dogs, those little pups popping in and out of holes on vacant lots and rural rangeland, are talking up a storm. They have different "words'' for tall human in yellow shirt, short human in green shirt, coyote, deer, red-tailed hawk and many other creatures.

They can even coin new terms for things they've never seen before, independently coming up with the same calls or words....The prairie dogs have calls for various predators but also for elk, deer, antelope and cows.

I wonder what they would call me?

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