Conversation between two dolphins recorded for the first time. But what did they say?

By Hannah Osborne for


A conversation between dolphins has been recorded for the first time. Researchers listened in on a pair of Black Sea bottlenose dolphins taking it in turns to produce a series of pulses, which they believe are individual words strung together to create sentences.

Published in the journal Physics and Mathematics, Vyacheslav A Ryabov,  from the Russian Academy of Scientists, analysed multiple “non-coherent pulses” (NPs) between dolphins then matched them to the animals that produced them. He found the waveform and spectra of individual pulses changed significantly. The pulses, Ryabov claims, are words and that dolphins put them together to make sentences.

Furthermore, he said his experiments show how the dolphins would take it in turns to produce a pack of pulses and that they did not interrupt each other. He says this is “reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other’s NPs before producing its own”, and that the exchange “resembles a conversation between two people”.

“Each pulse in the NP packs that is produced by dolphins is different from another by its appearance in the time domain and by the set of spectral components in the frequency domain. In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin’s spoken language,” he wrote.

Read more here.

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