Bottlenose Dolphins Are Into Baby Talk


“Peekaboo!”—you may have played this game with a young child. Have you noticed that many adults use a different, high-pitched voice to interact with kids? Baby talk might not be limited to humans. Recent studies suggest that dolphins have a baby-talk version of their whistles. Bottlenose dolphin moms use a shriller version of their whistles when their calves are nearby, mostly to bond and teach them the vocals. Usually, newborns develop a unique whistle. The dolphins shout out these “named” whistles to signal that they are close by.


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