Bottlenose dolphin Researchers have long suspected dolphins use distinctive whistles to identify themselves Continue reading the
Scientists have found further evidence that dolphins call each other by "name".
Research has revealed that the marine mammals use a unique whistle to identify each other.
A team from the University of St Andrews in Scotland found that when the animals hear
their own call played back to them, they respond.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr Vincent Janik, from the university's Sea Mammal Research Unit, said: "(Dolphins) live in this three-dimensional environment, offshore without any kind of landmarks and they need to stay together as a group.
"These animals live in an environment where they need a very efficient system to stay in touch."
It had been-long suspected that dolphins use distinctive whistles in much the same way that humans use names.Previous research found that these calls were used frequently, and dolphins in the same groups were able to learn and copy the unusual sounds. But this is the first time that the animals response to being addressed by their "name" has been studied.