Individual dolphins identify themselves to new dolphins they meet

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Dolphins are able to carry on multiple conversations simultaniously.

Dolphins apparently have a system of identifying themselves to each other similar to the way you and I use names.

Scientists have actually known since the 1960s that this system existed. Basically, each dolphin creates their own “signature” whistle when they’re very young. In studies of captive dolphins, they used this whistle mainly when they got separated from the rest of the group. It was like a way of saying, “Hey, I’m over here!” Or, given the environment, perhaps some version of “Marco! Polo!”

But at Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ed Yong writes about a new study of wild dolphins that has really increased our understanding of signature whistles and how dolphins use them…

Continue reading… “Individual dolphins identify themselves to new dolphins they meet”

Scientist Catches Bear-Eating Snake in the Act


22.6-foot reticulated python, shot by Kekek Aduanan (in hat) on June 9, 1970. Photo by Thomas N. Headland

Earlier this week a team of scientists from several universities and the US Geological Survey released a study documenting the dramatically declining numbers of small and medium-size mammals in Florida – including raccoons, opossums, white-tailed deer, bobcats, rabbits and foxes. These population drops all occur in the same areas where pythons and other large, non-native snakes have taken up residence after escaping from one stop or another in the wildlife trade supply chain.

Anyone who’s even heard only the most basic facts about constrictor snakes knows that they’re formidable predators and take down prey by grasping it in their powerful jaws, coiling their bodies around it, and squeezing until it suffocates. Devouring bunnies and possums isn’t even the half of it, though. These big snakes aren’t shy about going after much larger, more dangerous game, too. Like men. And bears…

Continue reading… “Scientist Catches Bear-Eating Snake in the Act”

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