Scientists have determined that dolphins can recognize each other by taste
Categories: AnimalsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/scientists-have-determined-that-dolphins-can-recognize-each-other-by-taste
We have known since school biology lessons that cetaceans can recognize each other at considerable distances. At the same time, vision plays a secondary role for these mammals. Sounds of a certain frequency were considered the main way of communication of these mammals. But recent research by Scottish scientists has shown that dolphins can recognize their relatives without even hearing or seeing them. Animals identify their fellows by the taste of their secretions.
An unexpected discovery was made by zoologists from University of St Andrews in Scotland. On May 18, 2022, they shared the results of their work with readers of the scientific publication Science Advances.
Scientists took urine samples from dolphins living off Bermuda and near the Dolphin Quest resort in Hawaii. In these places of the world ocean, animals live in the wild, but at the same time they communicate closely with people.
Thanks to the trust in people, the animals did not interfere with the collection of analyzes and zoologists were able to obtain samples of secretions. It was found out that dolphins are more interested in the smell of urine of familiar individuals. They study smells even more closely if they hear a unique sound used by dolphins as a name. A similar method was recently used by Japanese zoopsychologists to determine how cats react to the names of relatives.
In the course of working with dolphins, something else came to light. It turned out that dolphins taste quite differently from other animals. In the process of evolution, they have lost a number of taste sensations and do not distinguish between sour, sweet and bitter. But these marine mammals have developed another feature — to recognize other animals by their secretions.
This is how Dr. Vincent Janick, director of the Scottish Ocean Institute, described the recognition mechanism. It is not yet known whether animals can recognize the taste of other inhabitants of the ocean or only their relatives.
The scientist says that the work is not over yet and science has a lot to learn about how some of the most mysterious creatures of the World's oceans see the world around them.
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