Can whales and dolphins communicate with each other?
Whales and dolphins communicate with sounds, clicks and song. In some dolphin species and Humpback whales, individuals can be identified on the base notes throughout their life. When we hear dolphins and whales “speak” it sound like random sound, but they don’t listen to the sound itself they hear information that is riding on the sound waves. Because of this it is believed that all cetaceans are able to speak the same language and then have their own unique communication. There is a lot of evidence supporting this e.g. five different species working together to feed on fish or a dolphin in New Zealand that helped two stranded disorientated Pygmy Sperm whales back out to sea.
That all cetaceans can communicate with each other is amazing, but the communication between individuals in the same species is even more complex. Orcas “speak” with a number of different “dialects” and “languages”. These differences can be small e.g. British English and American English or huge e.g. Japanese and English. Bottlenose dolphins and Sperm whales from different parts of the world also have different dialects. This is one reason that when having animals in captivity from different parts of the world they can have a hard time communicating. It’s one thing to spend some time together to feed and another to live together.
All over the world whales and dolphins are seen swimming and feeding together, but what’s more impressive is when they seem to communicate with other animals. In Ireland a Labrador was seen swimming and playing with a Bottlenose dolphin for a few years until the dolphin decided to spend more time with its pod. An Orca in Canada that was separated from its mother started to create friendships with humans and a dog. The Orca would “talk” with a dog that would bark back.