How similar are we?
It has long been suspected that dolphins have a "language" and recognize each other individually — their brains are almost as large and complex as those of humans. And according to this article in today's Sunday Times, research has finally shown that they do.
The scientists, who were from St. Andrew's University in Scotland, studied the social interactions of a group of dolphins and recorded the "signature whistles" they made when greeting one another. When the dolphins listened to synthetic recordings resembling the whistles of various dolphins, they reacted strongly to those of their family members and other associates, but did not react to the whistles of dolphins they didn't know.
These findings come on the heels of controversial research published last week suggesting that starling birds may share certain language characteristics with humans too. You can read Carl Zimmer's article on the subject here.