Monday, February 25, 2013

Dolphins are Self-Aware and Use Names

[image credit here]

Unlike many of the people I meet, who, while they do use names, are notoriously non-self-aware.

From Discovery dot com:

Bottlenose dolphins call out the specific names of loved ones when they become separated, a study finds.   
Other than humans, the dolphins are the only animals known to do this, according to the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The big difference with bottlenose dolphins is that these communications consist of whistles, not words. 
Earlier research found that bottlenose dolphins name themselves, with dolphins having a “signature whistle” that encodes other information. It would be somewhat like a human shouting, “Hey everybody! I’m an adult healthy male named George, and I mean you no harm!”

I can't tell you how much this makes me smile inside.  See, we vacation every year at an oceanfront home along the fabled Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We have been doing that annually since 1976, save for one year when pregnancy dictated otheriwse.

And each year, seeing dolphins swimming by just offshore becomes an annual totem, a sign that this family and the earth have successfully passed another year, and that everything is OK.

Now that I know the dolphins swimming by are sentient self-aware beings with names--with names!--I can't help but place even more significance to their passage. 


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