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Home / Science / Rare footage of river dolphins helps scientists solve the mystery of marine mammal communication

Rare footage of river dolphins helps scientists solve the mystery of marine mammal communication



The Aragua river dolphin in Brazil may not be as big as a researcher previously thought.

The river dolphin species commonly referred to as "botos" were first discovered in 201

4. Since then, scientists want to learn more about the mysterious creatures. According to a 2014 study published in the PLOS One Journal, only 600 to 1,500 people are present in the Araguaia-Tocantins River system of the South American country.

Unlike Arctic saltwater siblings, Araguaian's river dolphins are considered a shy little social structure that would require communication, "the University of Vermont said in a news release on Thursday.

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The expedition to the Brazilian city of Mocajuba changed the researchers' conclusions about the species – and "possibly cracked the code" on how communication with marine mammals developed.

The biologists Laura May Collado and Gabriel Melo-Santos from the University of Vermont and The University of St Andrews in Scotland brought a team of underwater cameras and microphones to the Brazilian city of Mocajuba, where Bo tos are abundant after a 20-hour recording of the species researchers were able to identify 237 different types of sounds. [19659005] The results of the team were published on Thursday in the journal Peer J.

  The Brazilian Araguaian River dolphin can make up to 237 different sounds.

The Araguaian river dolphin in Brazil can make up to 237 different sounds.
[Mark Carwardine / Barcroft Media / Getty Images]

"We've found that they interact socially and produce more sounds than previously thought," Collado said in an online statement. She added, "Her vocal repertoire is very diverse," she added.

First New Species of River Dolphin Discovered in Brazil since 1918

"Most of the studies also on Amazonian River Dolphins Like other river dolphins around the world, only a few noises have been reported for communication Melo-Santos added to Gizmodo, "in some studies it was even claimed that botos had a simple communication system consisting of a few types of sound."

River dolphins actually use the same signature whistles and sounds as their maritime counterparts, but

"It's exciting, marine dolphins like Bottlenose use signature pipes as contact, and here we have another sound that river dolphins use for the same purpose," Collado explained, adding that they even could serve the opposite purpose – such as a signal to keep a distance 19659005] You also have an n Lower levels of sound than the other dolphins, which researchers believe may have changed along with their environment, which is said to be threatened by oil and gas drilling, mining, fishing and pollution.

"There are many obstacles such as flooded forests and vegetation in their habitat, so this signal could be developed to avoid echoes of the vegetation and improve the communication range of mothers and their calves," added Collado.

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As river dolphins were generally well documented before other dolphins, the group's findings suggest that their "language" may be among the calls and whist contributed How to hear about marine dolphins today.

In the near future, researchers will explore other river dolphin species to see how their communication with botos is compared.

"We can not say what the story of evolution is until we learn what sounds are made by other river dolphins in the Amazon and how that relates to what we found," she says. "We now have all these new questions to investigate."


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