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Wave Tail Walking, photo by Marianna Boorman

Dolphins are known for their complex and diverse communication systems, which allow them to interact with each other and navigate the underwater environment.  

One way to understand dolphin communication is to analyze their vocalizations, which include clicks, whistles, and pulsed sounds. These sounds can be used to convey information about location, prey, and social status, among other things. Scientists can also use acoustic monitoring techniques to track individual dolphins and study their movements and behaviors.

Another method of dolphin communication is through body language. Dolphins use a range of physical gestures, such as tail slaps, breaches, and head-butts, to communicate with each other and express their intentions. Observing these behaviors can help researchers understand the social dynamics of dolphin groups and their relationships with other species.

Keep learning about dolphins by exploring other topics on our website such as dolphin anatomy, identification and behaviour

Dolphins anatomy

Identifying dolphins

Dolphins behaviour


How dolphins communicate

Bianca and Doc photo by Marianna Boorman

Dolphin communication can also be used to identify individual dolphins. With the Port River Dolphins, we use non-intrusive techniques to recognize and name dolphins based on their unique physical characteristics, such as notches and nicks in their dorsal fins or scars on their bodies. This identification helps us keep track of population size, monitor their movements, and research them more efficiently.

Dolphin communication also includes a range of cooperative behaviors, such as herding and hunting. Dolphins work together to corral fish and other prey, using coordinated movements and vocalizations to communicate their strategies. They also engage in play behaviors, such as bubble blowing and chasing, which may serve as a form of social bonding and communication.


By observing these behaviors, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of the social structures and relationships within dolphin groups, and how they adapt to changes in their environment.

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