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Bottlenose Dolphin Moms Whistle High-Pitched Tone to Communicate with their Young

By: Boya Hu

On June 26, 2023, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program proved that female bottlenose dolphin mothers change how they vocalize when directing their calves. In Florida, the researchers noted the signature tune whistles of 19 mother bottlenose dolphins. They learned that each bottlenose dolphin’s whistle is unique and never the same as any other bottlenose dolphin.

“They use whistles to keep track of each other. They are occasionally saying, ‘I’m here, I’m here,” said Laela Sayigh, who is a study co-author that works in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as a marine biologist. When they communicate with their calves the bottlenose’s mother makes a higher pitch and the pitch range is larger than usual. “That was true for all of the bottlenose mothers, every 19 of them.” says Peter Tyack, another study co-author, who is from the University of St. Andrews.

It took more than 3 decades examine their evidence. Scientists had to place special microphones that would record multiple whistles of the same wild dolphin over and over again The recording would include calves as well. The father of a bottlenose dolphin calf would not play a role in prolonged role parenting, according to Los Angeles Times. Dolphin moms use special sounds, so they don’t lose their babies.

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