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

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 15:42:53

Researchers Record Dolphin 'Conversation' Revealing Possible Spoken Language

A team of researchers with Russia's Karadag Scientific Station–Nature Reserve of RAS has used specially developed underwater microphones to capture for the first time what they claim to be a human-like conversation between two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins. In their paper uploaded to the open access site St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal: Physics and Mathematics, the team, led by Vyacheslav Ryabov, describe the pulses generated by the sea creatures and why they believe what they heard was an actual conversation.

Humans have suspected for centuries that dolphins have more advanced communications than other animals—tales of their conversational abilities have been reported by sailors from around the globe. More recently, scientists have been listening to sounds the underwater mammals produce and trying to decipher their meaning—some have claimed they have found that certain pulsed clicks and whistles correspond to certain activities or observations, but to date, none have been able to prove that the dolphins actually carry on conversations. In this new effort, the researchers believe they have come close.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016 ... irst-time/

To gain a better perspective on dolphin communication, the researchers developed a two-channel hydrophone recording system in the frequency band up to 220 kHz with a dynamic range of 81 dB meant specifically to capture all the sounds produced by a pair of dolphins (named Yasha and Yana) housed in a research pool. They began by recording sounds from just one of the dolphins at a time to match the pulses made to each individual animal—capturing their unique voices. Then they recorded the two animals as they appeared to hold a conversation near the side of the pool. They noted that the animals took turns "speaking" while the other listened—back and forth emitting short pulses of clicks that varied in pitch and volume, which the researchers suggest were similar to words used in human communication—they describe the conversation as eerily reminiscent of two people having a chat. From the report:
... The analysis of numerous NPs (noncoherent pulses) registered in our experiments showed that the dolphins took turns in producing pulse packs and did not interrupt each other, which gives reason to believe that each of the dolphins listened to the other's NPs before producing its own.

Essentially, this exchange resembles a conversation between two people. The fundamental difference between the dolphin exchange of information and the human conversation is in the characteristics of the acoustic signals of their spoken language. Each pulse in the NP packs that is produced by dolphins is different from another by its appearance in the time domain and by the set of spectral components in the frequency domain. In this regard, we can assume that each pulse represents a phoneme or a word of the dolphin's spoken language.

The researchers were not able to decipher the messages the dolphins relayed to one another, of course, but suggest their recordings indicate that dolphins are able to communicate in a highly developed spoken language.

Full Access: Vyacheslav A. Ryabov, The study of acoustic signals and the supposed spoken language of the dolphins, St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal: Physics and Mathematics (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.spjpm.2016.08.004

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What would they have to say about this ...

The Tragic Taiji Dolphin Hunt So Far
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 18:40:39

Certainly, other top predators could teach us something about how to fulfill that roll without decimating the entire ecosystem! http://www.alternet.org/environment/sim ... -predators


Humans are Super Predators, but unlike wild predators, we can't manage complex ecosystems

wild predators can manage and regulate natural ecosystem balances. In this regard, the humans super predator is failing miserably.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 18:47:44

Further to the point of vox's post: What if Humans Aren’t the Most Intelligent Creatures on the Planet?



http://upliftconnect.com/humans-arent-i ... es-planet/
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 18:55:41

dohboi wrote:Further to the point of vox's post: What if Humans Aren’t the Most Intelligent Creatures on the Planet?


Bingo!

They have demonstrated an equilibrium with their environment for millions of years. What are their philosophies; their oral history?

We have much to learn.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Ibon » Tue 13 Sep 2016, 19:02:06

vox_mundi wrote:
dohboi wrote:Further to the point of vox's post: What if Humans Aren’t the Most Intelligent Creatures on the Planet?


Bingo!

They have demonstrated an equilibrium with their environment for millions of years. What are their philosophies; their oral history?

We have much to learn.


Not so fast. They evolved in an aqueous environment where they did not require tool use. Humans have an apposing thumb and when they came down out of trees and became bipidel natural selection lead to tool use in their environments. Dolphins may well be sentient, may well carry out conversations, but projecting a wisdom on them of environmental stewardship as a predator is a bit of stretch.

You can't modify your environment without tools and something comprable to an apposing thumb. What part of the Dolphin's anatomy will enable such modification.

With humans it was the combination of the brain and the apposing thumb that lead to modification of our environment.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 08:26:04

Regarding Dolphins they are an excellent candidate of a sentient species that may one day evolve into full consciousness comparable to humans and such a species would most likely endure far longer than humans for the good fortune that their ability to alter their landscapes is limited by their habitat and anatomy.

Fermi's Paradox about any sentient life form eventually killing themselves off due to exceeding carrying capacity is a theory of why we don't receive signals of life from other planets. I have always considered this a very anthro centric theory. Imagine a dolphin like organism on another planet that reached full consciousness and endured for millions of years. The reason we get no radio signals from them is not because of Fermi's Paradox but more likely because they reached full consciousness without requiring technology, tool use, manipulation of their environment. Much like dolphins one day may achieve.

Interesting to consider that brains and apposing thumbs together may very well be a deadly combination for long term survival.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 08:38:13

"may one day evolve into full consciousness comparable to humans "

And how exactly do we know that they aren't already there, or beyond.

And it may be that we just happen to have the 'bad luck' of having both developed brains and opposable thumbs. But that's not proof that another species would have avoided the total cluster f we have gotten ourselves into, because of their greater wisdom. It's an experiment we won't be around to observe, and that we have already foreshortened.

There is also no guarantee that dolphins will survive our destruction of the life supports systems of the world.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 10:05:26

dohboi wrote:"may one day evolve into full consciousness comparable to humans "

And how exactly do we know that they aren't already there, or beyond.


They very well might be. There is no direct correlation between technology and intelligence. Dolphins do perhaps bear this out.

You know the risk of delving into this topic is that we conclude our species is perhaps flawed. This can really put a funk on your day!
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 10:58:58

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

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 14:55:33

A whale with a distinctly human-like voice

Image

For the first time, researchers have been able to show by acoustic analysis that whales—or at least one very special white whale—can imitate the voices of humans. That's a surprise, because whales typically produce sounds in a manner that is wholly different from humans, say researchers who report their findings in the October 23 issue of Current Biology.

Whale vocalization: http://www.cell.com/cms/attachment/2021 ... 4/mmc2.mp3

"Our observations suggest that the whale had to modify its vocal mechanics in order to make the speech-like sounds," said Sam Ridgway of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. "Such obvious effort suggests motivation for contact."

It all started in 1984 when Ridgway and others began to notice some unusual sounds in the vicinity of the whale and dolphin enclosure. As they describe it, it sounded as though two people were conversing in the distance, just out of range of their understanding.

Those unusually familiar sounds were traced back to one white whale in particular only some time later when a diver surfaced from the whale enclosure to ask his colleagues an odd question: "Who told me to get out?"

They deduced that those utterances came from a most surprising source: a white whale by the name of NOC. That whale had lived among dolphins and other white whales and had often been in the presence of humans.

In fact, there had been other anecdotal reports of whales sounding like humans before, but in this case Ridgway's team wanted to capture some real evidence. They recorded the whale's sounds to reveal a rhythm similar to human speech and fundamental frequencies several octaves lower than typical whale sounds, much closer to that of the human voice.

"Whale voice prints were similar to human voice and unlike the whale's usual sounds," Ridgway said. "The sounds we heard were clearly an example of vocal learning by the white whale."

That's all the more remarkable because whales make sounds via their nasal tract, not in the larynx as humans do. To make those human-like sounds, NOC had to vary the pressure in his nasal tract while making other muscular adjustments and inflating the vestibular sac in his blowhole, the researchers found. In other words, it wasn't easy.

Ridgeway et al.: Spontaneous human speech mimicry by a cetacean, Current Biology

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Cultural transmission of tool use in bottlenose dolphins

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Abstract: In Shark Bay, wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) apparently use marine sponges as foraging tools. We demonstrate that genetic and ecological explanations for this behavior are inadequate; thus, “sponging” classifies as the first case of an existing material culture in a marine mammal species. Using mitochondrial DNA analyses, we show that sponging shows an almost exclusive vertical social transmission within a single matriline from mother to female offspring. Moreover, significant genetic relatedness among all adult spongers at the nuclear level indicates very recent coancestry, suggesting that all spongers are descendents of one recent “Sponging Eve.” Unlike in apes, tool use in this population is almost exclusively limited to a single matriline that is part of a large albeit open social network of frequently interacting individuals, adding a new dimension to charting cultural phenomena among animals.

ALREADY FAMED AS Earth’s first tool-using marine mammals, the bottlenose dolphins of Australia’s Shark Bay have proved handy yet again, by using conch shells to trap tasty fish, then shaking them into their mouths like sardines from a tin.

Unlike sponging, however, in which dolphins use sponges to find fishes hiding in mud, conching isn’t yet widespread in Shark Bay. It appears to be a relatively new innovation, pioneered by a few individuals and finally catching on.

“The extent to which the conch shell is manipulated and the rarity of the behavior suggest that ‘conching’ takes some skill and practice and might thus be another rare individual foraging tactic in Shark Bay,” wrote biologists led by the University of Zurich’s Michael Krutzen in Marine Mammal Science.

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“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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

Unread postby Subjectivist » Wed 14 Sep 2016, 18:15:01

image.jpeg
Dolphin Hands
image.jpeg (22.9 KiB) Viewed 3321 times


Author Larry Nven has written stories about Dolphins with mechanical arms and hands working as fish farmers since the 1960's.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Kylon » Thu 15 Sep 2016, 21:18:45

This conversation reminds of the song from Hitch Hikers guide to the galaxy-

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 16 Sep 2016, 07:34:46

It truly seems us humans became too powerful for our own good. I go to this quote from E.O Wilson “The real problem of humanity is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Rod_Cloutier » Sun 18 Sep 2016, 14:34:04

Racoons have been adapting to city life living with humans (I don't have a link to the full video) The full video describes how Racoons are being selected for intelligence in urban environments; overcoming traffic, and learning how to open trash containers, to such an extent the urban Racoons could be classified as a new species. Their behavior differs so differently from Racoons in the wild:

https://youtu.be/YoVwD8ZNNyg?t=3s

Also, studies on octopuses show that they are also intelligent:

https://youtu.be/GJjcRq-Gp78?t=2s

Also, sorry I do not have a link to the full video.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 18 Sep 2016, 16:40:35

Rod_Cloutier wrote:Racoons have been adapting to city life living with humans (I don't have a link to the full video) The full video describes how Racoons are being selected for intelligence in urban environments; overcoming traffic, and learning how to open trash containers, to such an extent the urban Racoons could be classified as a new species. Their behavior differs so differently from Racoons in the wild:



Relevant to the earlier posts racoons do have digits (fingers) with a high level of dexterity but lack an apposing thumb.

Given enough millenium they would be a candidate to become sentient and use tools. They are omnivorous as well. Unlike Dolphins they would most likely Fxxk things up as much as Kudzu Apes if evolution gives them a chance.

The fact that Racoons are being selected for more intelligent because of the complex human ecosystem they have learned to negotiate is intriguing. Like our human ancestors who descended from trees our brain size started to quickly increase once we had to negotiate complex savannahs.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 18 Sep 2016, 22:36:54

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

That we are idiots? But then, so are they. na na na, na na. lol
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 12:58:38

Whales and Dolphins Have Rich 'Human-Like' Cultures and Societies

Image

Whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects - much like human societies.

The research was a collaboration between scientists at The University of Manchester, The University of British Columbia, Canada, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Stanford University, United States.

The study is first of its kind to create a large dataset of cetacean brain size and social behaviours. The team compiled information on 90 different species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises. It found overwhelming evidence that Cetaceans have sophisticated social and cooperative behaviour traits, similar to many found in human culture.

The study demonstrates that these societal and cultural characteristics are linked with brain size and brain expansion - also known as encephalisation.

The long list of behavioural similarities includes many traits shared with humans and other primates such as:
- complex alliance relationships - working together for mutual benefit
- social transfer of hunting techniques - teaching how to hunt and using tools
- cooperative hunting
- complex vocalizations, including regional group dialects - 'talking' to each other
- vocal mimicry and 'signature whistles' unique to individuals - using 'name' recognition
- interspecific cooperation with humans and other species - working with different species
- alloparenting - looking after youngsters that aren't their own
- social play

Dr Susanne Shultz, an evolutionary biologist in Manchester's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: "As humans, our ability to socially interact and cultivate relationships has allowed us to colonise almost every ecosystem and environment on the planet. We know whales and dolphins also have exceptionally large and anatomically sophisticated brains and, therefore, have created a similar marine based culture."

"That means the apparent co-evolution of brains, social structure, and behavioural richness of marine mammals provides a unique and striking parallel to the large brains and hyper-sociality of humans and other primates on land. Unfortunately, they won't ever mimic our great metropolises and technologies because they didn't evolve opposable thumbs."

Image

Kieran C. R. Fox et al, The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2017)
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 14:13:50

Knowing about these other intelligent creatures always puts me to reflect on how they are able to avoid the aggressive and competitive behavior so characteristic of us humans. Indeed, I wish to could communicate with us directly to divulge their secrets.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby Ibon » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 14:33:06

onlooker wrote:Knowing about these other intelligent creatures always puts me to reflect on how they are able to avoid the aggressive and competitive behavior so characteristic of us humans. Indeed, I wish to could communicate with us directly to divulge their secrets.


If you evolve in an aqueous environment without an apposing thumb without the need of making tools you can be sentient.

We confuse being sentient with manipulating our environments. Dolphins became sentient without tool use.

That is a big difference.
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Re: Earth's Other Sentient Life: What could they tell us?

Unread postby onlooker » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 14:53:09

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.
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