DOLPHINS are the only animals besides humans that give themselves names, a zoologist says.
They have crafted a way of saying “this is me” by using unique signature whistles to broadcast their identities to each other, Dr Arik Kershenbaum believes.
Dolphins give themselves names, according to zoologists[/caption]
He told the Instant Genius podcast: “As they are growing up they make themselves a little whistle which is different from every other dolphin’s whistle.
“This becomes a representation of their name.”
The Cambridge University lecturer, who explores the phenomenon in his new book, Why Animals Talk, said whistles lets others know who is there — which is unsurprising as dolphins live within fluid social networks.
Dr Kershenbaum said these whistles are used to ‘broadcast their identities’ and ‘let others know who is here’.
He said: “Again, that’s not that surprising given this social network that they live in.
“They need to know, who are you? Are you a member of my group? Are you someone that I have worked with in the past?
“It is incredibly rare, in fact it’s the only instance we know of in the animal world, outside of humans where animals give themselves a name.
“Here they are actually crafting themselves their own, vocal, representation that they can use to say ‘this is me’.”