Dolphins live in fission-fusion societies – meaning size and composition of groups change as time passes and animals move throughout their environment.

Acoustic communication allows dolphins to signal each other over vast distances or when they are out of view.

Using acoustic cues, dolphins are able to coordinate group formations, movement and transmit information. There are 3 primary types of vocal cues: clicks, burst pulse, whistles.

Types of Dolphin Sounds

Broadband pulses generally used for echolocation

Rapid click trains used during foraging and socializing behaviors

Frequency-modulated tones used for contact calls and during socializing behaviors

Check out how scientists analyze dolphin communication!


How Do Humpback Whales Learn Their Songs?

A Review of “Cultural Confusion: Parsimony, Social Learning, and Humpback Whales” By Heidi Lyn Humpback whales are well known for their elaborate vocal songs, but how do they learn these? Dr. Heidi Lyn – a comparative psychologist studying cognition and communication in non-human animals – has taken a look at how scientists have analyzed this…

Keep reading

Masking – Are we louder than dolphins?

With human activity increasing both in coastal and deep ocean, the world’s ocean has become quite a noisy environment. Concerned researchers have investigated how this may be impacting marine life, including marine mammals. One study has investigated the potential effects of pile driving on the dynamics of bottlenose dolphin populations. Importance of Sound to Bottlenose…

Keep reading


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.