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Monday, March 10, 2008

The unique language of dolphins...

The unique language of dolphins...

First published at Qassia:

The unique language of dolphins is being recorded - decoding the secrets.
Decoding the Maui dolphins secrets - one of the most endangered of their species.

Its unique language is being recorded for the first time to discover where it goes on its journeys.

There are only 110 Maui dolphins left in the world and they all live in coastal waters along a section of the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

Otago University's researchers believe they routinely visit many of the harbours dotted along the coast after deciphering and monitoring its unique "clicking" langage.

Using echo-location sonar equipment anchored to buoys in west coast harbours, researchers believe they have evidence of the dolphins roving ways.

Dolphins apparently use ultrasonic sonar clicks and each species has its own particular accent, just like humans.

Compared to other dolphin species, Maui's and their close relation, the Hector's dolphin, have a click frequency range of 112-130 kHZ, similar to the bottlenose dolphin I wrote about a few months ago, but a higher frequency to the common dolphin and the dusky dolphin.

Most of the Maui's and Hector's dolphins sounds are beyond human hearing, with their only audible sounds being a squeal or cry created by high frequency "clicks".

The study was part of conservation efforts to help the endangered Maui dolphin avoid extinction.

The Fisheries Ministry and Department of Conservation are working on a strategy to meet a balance of the dolphin's survival and the fishing industry. An interim net ban has been put in place along the Maui's coastal range, but not inside harbours.

It is a miracle that the dolphins can find their way out of the myriad of nets in these harbours.

A recent news item would suggest that the future of these animals is becoming a priority with maritime authorities; that must be a very good thing for their future.

Dolphin Language

Contributor's Note
A unique language

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