Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Flipper as a misnomer?

So according to this article and Newsweek, dolphins, are one of the three species on the planet that give their members individual names, along with the bespectacled parrotlet and homo sapiens. Newsweek claims that they also seem to repeat their own names quite frequently. Self-centered? The research seems to show that it's actually a way of communicating their state of being, a'la "George is getting angry!"

I swam with dolphins in Mexico a few years ago (I think the jury is still out as to whether this sort of activity is considered to be beneficial or detrimental to the dolphins themselves, though PETA no doubt decries it is evil), and was truly amazed to be in proximity with these beautiful creatures. You can place your ear under the water when they surround you and hear their conversations. What are they saying? "George thinks this is one funny looking thing swimming with us"? "George would ram this thing with his nose if it wouldn't cause George's fish to be withheld?" Or perhaps, "These odd finless creatures seem to be communicating with each other"? One day hopefully the code will be cracked.

1 comment:

James said...

I think they were probably saying, "So long and thanks for all the fish."