Dolphins Prove to Have Excellent Long-Term Memory

November 12, 2013 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Dolphin MemoryIf asked which animal has the best memory, most of us would probably answer elephant because an elephant never forgets, right? A new study shows that dolphins are making a push for having the best memory in the animal kingdom.

In a previous study, it was discovered that bottlenose dolphins communicate with each other through signature whistles. Jason Bruck, the author of the current study, found that these dolphins can also recognize the sounds of their old tank mates even after being separated for over two decades.

Bruck played recordings of the signature whistles to dolphins. Some of the recordings were of dolphins that the listener had previously lived with while others were of dolphins they had never met. The researcher observed that there was an immediate reaction when dolphins heard the calls of their long-lost mates such as approaching the speaker and whistling back.

The study not only shows the intelligence and memory skills of the bottlenose dolphins, but shows once again the deep and meaningful bonds that animals can form.

Source: Bruck J. Decades-long social memory in bottlenose dolphins. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Oct 2013: 280; 1768.

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