Dolphins, like humans, recognize names

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Dolphins, like humans, recognize names

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bottlenose dolphins can call each other by name when they whistle, making them the only animals besides humans known to recognize such identity information, scientists reported on Monday.

Scientists have long known that dolphins' whistling calls include repeated information thought to be their names, but a new study indicates dolphins recognize these names even when voice cues are removed from the sound.

For example, a dolphin might be expected to recognize its name if called by its mother, but the new study found most dolphins recognized names -- their signature whistles -- even when emitted without inflection or other vocal cues.

More than that, two dolphins may refer to a third by the third animal's name, said Laela Sayigh, one of three authors of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Dolphins recognize each others names. They are the only animal besides humans that recognize each other by name.

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By YCON: posted on 9-5-2006

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