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Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 15:04:54

It's so sad to think of intelligent and sensitive animals confronting our greed and avarice. Thank Gaia for the brave folks who protested and demanded that the fishermen change their methods. It worked and we still have our seafood. I guess we pay more, but that right there encouraged the development of sea farms. I know they also have their downsides, they pollute inshore bays and estuaries. But that is okay I guess for the tradeoff.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 18:55:21

onlooker wrote:Indeed Ibon totally agree and this is your expertise, so I fully align myself with your point. However, I was referring to given their intellectualy capacity similar to ours, why have these other creatures been able to avoid internecine conflict for the most part. We never hear of war like behavior among themselves or anything like that. So just curious.


You can't own private property in an ocean. The sea is immense. There is abundant food for dolphins. They do not have to defend rich feeding grounds against other pods. Defending territory would normally select for aggression but where is the a dolphins territory? There isnn't any. it is an immense aqueous environment.

Dolphins like cats do like to play with their prey before killing it. And there is rivalry around sex.... but otherwise no wars. no genocide.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sun 03 Dec 2017, 15:41:34

A Beluga Whale Living with Dolphins Learned to “Speak Their Language”

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A captive beluga whale has done something amazing: she has seemingly "learned" another language and adopted it over her own.

The whale, then four years old, started making whistling sounds unique to dolphins and dropping her own beluga vocalisations after being housed with bottlenose dolphins for only two months.

The team recorded over 90 hours of audio. In the first fews days in the dolphinarium, the whale made sounds typical for her species. Two months later, she was "speaking dolphin."

What's particularly interesting is that she started making the dolphins' signature whistles -individual whistles assigned to each dolphin, sort of like names. And she stopped using the beluga contact call, which beluga whales use as a sort of call-and-response check-in.

"The case reported here, as well as other instances of imitation and whistle sharing in dolphins described in the literature, may be considered as vocal convergence between socially bonded individuals - a phenomenon that can be seen in various vocal species, from birds to humans," the researchers wrote.

"With some exceptions, call convergence is suggested to provide recognition of a group and strengthening of social bonds between its members."

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 017-1132-4


NOC Beluga Whale Mimicking Human Speech

Dolphins That Work With Humans to Catch Fish Have Unique Accent

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Bottlenose dolphins that work together with humans to catch fish have their own distinctive whistle, one that may help them recognise each other.

Off Laguna, Brazil, fishers stand in a line in waist-deep water or wait in canoes while, farther out, bottlenose dolphins chase shoals of mullet to the shore. The fishers can’t see the fish in the murky water, so they wait for the dolphins to give a signal — like an abrupt dive or tail slap — then cast their nets.

Fishers catch larger and more fish when they work with dolphins. “Dolphins likely reap similar benefits,” says Mauricio Cantor of the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil – it might be easy for them to gobble up fish disoriented by the nets.

But only some dolphins, working alone or in small groups, cooperate with humans. To explore the differences between helpful and unhelpful dolphins, Cantor and his colleagues recorded the sounds made by both types while they foraged either on their own or with people.

Surprisingly, the whistles of cooperative dolphins were different from those of non-cooperative ones, even when foraging alone. For instance, they used fewer ascending whistles.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 148.f03t03

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Dolphins & Human fisherman on the Irrawaddy


Killer Whales Learn to Communicate Like Dolphins

The sounds that most animals use to communicate are innate, not learned. However, a few species, including humans, can imitate new sounds and use them in appropriate social contexts. This ability, known as vocal learning, is one of the underpinnings of language. Now, researchers have found that killer whales can engage in cross-species vocal learning: when socialized with bottlenose dolphins, they shifted the sounds they made to more closely match their social partners.

http://asa.scitation.org/doi/10.1121/1.4893906

... All three killer whales that had been housed with dolphins for several years shifted the proportions of different call types in their repertoire to more closely match the distribution found in dolphins -- they produced more clicks and whistles and fewer pulsed calls. The researchers also found evidence that killer whales can learn completely new sounds: one killer whale that was living with dolphins at the time of the experiment learned to produce a chirp sequence that human caretakers had taught to her dolphin pool-mates before she was introduced to them.


Horses Found Able to Use Symbols to Convey Their Desire for a Blanket

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... Suspecting that horses might be smarter than believed the researchers created three signs for the horses to look at—one was pure white, one had a black horizontal bar on a white background and the third had a black vertical bar on a white background. The researches then spent two weeks training riding horses to read the signs and then to use them to indicate to their human companions whether they wanted a blanket to be placed on their back, to have an existing blanket removed, or for things to remain the same.

The researchers report that after just 11 days the majority of the horses had caught on and were actively using the signs to report their desire—at the two-week period all of the horses were onboard and were actively using the signs to express their wishes. The researchers also report that the choices made by the horses were not random—they would choose to have a blanket put on when it got cold, for example and ask to have one removed on warm days when they were sweating.

The researchers also report that the horses appeared excited at being able to communicate with their trainers in such a novel way, engaging eagerly in the training and responding sometimes before being asked. They note that their study showed that the horses were not only able to read the symbols but were able to understand the connection between them and real world consequences—a form of higher learning.
http://www.appliedanimalbehaviour.com/a ... 68-1591(16)30219-2/fulltext
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