Dolphins Use Baby Talk When Calling to Their Offspring, According to a New Study

Mom and Baby Dolphin
A bottlenose dolphin and its calf.Getty

A new research study shows that dolphins use a form of baby talk to communicate with their offspring.

Dolphin moms communicate with their offspring in a form of baby talk similar to humans, a new study has found.

According to research published this week, female bottlenose dolphins use a higher pitch when calling to their young in their signature whistles, which are unique communications not unlike like calling out their own name.

Researchers recorded the signature whistles of 19 bottlenose mother dolphins in Florida. The communications were recorded when the female dolphins were with their young, and when the mothers were swimming with other adults.

Dolphin mothers calling to their calves use a higher and greater pitch, the study found. It was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“They use these whistles to keep track of each other. They’re periodically saying, ‘I’m here, I’m here,’” said study co-author Laela Sayigh, a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution marine biologist in Massachusetts, according to The Associated Press.

Researchers tracked the conversations of female dolphins for three decades. 

The ambitious study noted that dolphin mothers may use different signature whistles with their young so the calves know to listen up because mom is calling them, and to stay close.

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