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Dolphins are forced to simplify calls as human noise levels increase



Bottlenose dolphins, according to a recent study by the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, had to simplify their language due to a multitude of loud human activities. The change of calls was discovered by researchers who placed microphones on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to monitor the noise level near Maryland.

People are loud and that's a problem. Loud sounds resulting from human activity have been classified as harmful in both animal and health examinations and may interfere with bird calls. The latest study also highlights potential problems for underwater creatures that rely on complex voice calls.

The noise of pleasure boats, ships and similar craft causes ambient noise in ocean waters that is too loud for dolphins to easily ignore. Trying to call each other in these regions has become difficult, and researchers say that dolphins simplify their messages.

This change is akin to someone shouting single words and simple sentences at the roar of a noisy bar or restaurant. The change was observed using hydrophones located about 20 miles from the coast. The results raise questions about the long term impact of these levels on dolphins.

Dolphins are not the only aquatic animal affected by human noise. Previous research has shown that noise pollution ̵

1; including sonar tests – in the ocean can cause whales to sink themselves, decompression sickness to reach the surface too quickly, and much more. Researchers have called for the development of quieter vessels and restrictions on loud underwater sonar testing.

Source: University of Maryland


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