Will dolphins want to communicate with people?

New York Times– Ok, ok, it’s not about Earth Science, not really.  But down in the Bahamas, a researcher is getting close to implementing an experiment to see if dolphins will try to communicate with people.  Two researchers will SCUBA dive near wild dolphins, while instruments make sounds that imitate dolphin noises.  One diver will make a noise, and the other diver will hand her a piece of seaweed.  Hopefully, the dolphins will recognize the connection between the sound and the action, even if they are coming from funny-looking little creatures.

Yeah, dolphins can be trained to do tricks.  The question is, will dolphins and people be able to understand the same basic set of sounds and movements?  Will dolphins realize that people can communicate socially?  Very exciting!


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