Dolphin Memories Span at Least 20 Years

first_imgEver been at a party where you recognize everyone’s faces but can’t think of their names? That wouldn’t happen if you were a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The marine mammals can remember each other’s signature contact whistles—calls that function as names—for more than 20 years, the longest social memory ever recorded for a nonhuman animal, according to a new study.“The ability to remember individuals is thought to be extremely important to the ‘social brain,’ ” says Janet Mann, a marine mammal biologist at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the research. Yet, she notes, no one has succeeded in designing a test for this talent in the great apes—our closest kin—let alone in dolphins.Dolphins use their signature whistles to stay in touch. Each has its own unique whistle, and they learn and can repeat the whistles of other dolphins. A dolphin will answer when another dolphin mimics its whistle—just as we reply when someone calls our name. The calls enable the marine mammals to communicate over long distances—which is necessary because they live in “fission-fusion” societies, meaning that dolphins in one group split off to join other groups and later return. By whistling, they’re able to find each other again. Scientists don’t know how long dolphins are separated in the wild, but they do know the animals can live almost 50 years. So how long do the dolphins remember the calls of their friends?Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)To find out, Jason Bruck, a cognitive ethologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois, spent 5 years collecting 71 whistles from 43 dolphins at six captive facilities, including Brookfield Zoo near Chicago and Dolphin Quest in Bermuda. The six sites belong to a consortium that rotates the marine mammals for breeding and has decades-long records of which dolphins have lived together. The dolphins ranged in age from 4 months to 47 years and included males and females. Some of the animals had spent as little as 3 months together; others had been housed with each other for as long as 18.5 years before being separated and sent to another facility; and some had been apart for 20.5 years.At each facility, Bruck placed a submerged speaker in the dolphins’ pool and waited for one of the animals to swim past. He then played a recording of a whistle that the dolphin had never heard before. “They don’t pay much attention to signature whistles of dolphins they don’t know,” he says. But when he played the whistle of a dolphin they had once lived with, the animals often swam immediately to the speaker. “They will hover around it, whistle at it, seemingly try to get a response,” he says.Bruck also played recordings of an unfamiliar dolphin that was the same age and sex as the familiar animal—but these also did not elicit much of a response. “It was a striking pattern,” Bruck says. “They were potentially bored by unfamiliar calls but responded to whistles from the animals they’d known,” even if they had not heard the whistles in decades. “It seemed to be stimulating to them. In Bermuda, a mother dolphin even brought her calf over to listen to the whistles of dolphins she’d known,” Bruck says. Sometimes the dolphins got upset, slapping their tails in protest, when Bruck removed the speaker from the pool; but they quickly settled down again after he put it back in the water.In one case, Bruck played the whistle of Allie, a female dolphin at the Brookfield Zoo, for Bailey, a female in Bermuda. They had lived together at the Dolphin Connection in the Florida Keys when Allie was 4 and Bailey was 2. Twenty years and 6 months had passed—yet Bailey instantly recognized Allie’s whistle, Bruck says, as evidenced by her close attentiveness to the speaker.The dolphins often responded as if they were picturing their long-ago social pals, Bruck reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. For instance, two younger dolphins, Kai and D.J., became watchful and alert when they heard the whistles of Lucky and Hastings, two dominant males they had spent time with at the Brookfield Zoo. “Their whistles elicit a certain vigor and spirit in males that hear them,” says Bruck about the responses of Kai and D.J. “It looked as if those whistles put the image of those two dominant males in the heads of Kai and D.J.,” although he adds this has yet to be shown experimentally.The study demonstrates the “long-term stability of the dolphins’ whistles,” Mann says. “Even though dolphins may change in size and physical characteristics—getting scars and speckles—their whistles provide a reliable means of identification.” And that in turn enables them to “track relationships and connections between individuals,” she says. “We know they have relationships in the wild that last decades,” adds Richard Connor, an animal behaviorist at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. “Remembering a particular individual—even in the absence of that individual—could help them navigate their current social milieu.”Bruck’s study, however, did not test whether the dolphins mentally picture the correct dolphin when they hear his or her signature whistle. So far, scientists have only been able to demonstrate this ability in horses. Researchers from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom videoed individual horses while a herd member was led past them and out of view. The scientists then played the whinny of that horse or of a different horse. If the whinny was from the horse that had just walked by, the watching horse continued doing whatever it had been doing before; but if the whinny came from a different stable-mate, the watcher instantly turned to look in the direction of the call, as if saying, “that didn’t sound like you.”A similar experiment now needs to be done with dolphins, says Stephanie King, a biologist at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom. She wonders if the animals are paying attention to the whistles of their former pool-pals because the sounds are familiar—or because they “evoke a mental representation of the absent animal in the dolphin’s mind.” In other words, does Kai mentally picture Lucky when he hears the dominant male’s brassy whistle erupting from the speaker? Or does he merely register, “That call takes me right back to Chicago.” Stay tuned—Bruck has a test in the works to find out.last_img read more

Were You a Working Valentine?

first_imgSoft candlelight, good wine, and the gentle tapping sound of you typing out one last work email while your date patiently waited to dig into the chicken piccata. Oh, the romantic challenges of the independent worker. When every penny in your pocket seems directly tied to how much time you put in each day, how can you ever relax enough to invest in and grow your personal life? And for that matter, if you’re not working inside your client’s offices or at a coworking space (I’m counting coffeeshops in that category), where do you even meet the people who can become your lifeline, personal or professional? Making a few deliberate decisions to better manage your work/life balance can change your whole game though. Take these tips from Lauren, a freelance writer. She suggests setting deadlines for yourself that will allow you to enjoy your free time, worry-free. That means if you’ve got a date Friday night, your new deadline for urgent to-dos is Thursday. Explain your schedule and obligations to a new special-somebody, too, but try to not to let them overrun your time together. One of her most important tips is to make sure to date someone who’s supportive and understanding! Maybe your best bet, then, is another freelancer? I know where you can find one this February: at our singles/networking party in NYC.__ (Image by Johnny Stiletto, via Flickr.)last_img read more

by FFWPU USA On September 10 2015 Generation Pe

first_imgby FFWPU USA: On September 10, 2015, Generation Peace Academy (GPA) launched its new year with a kickoff workshop held at the Unification Theological Seminary. The first three days were designed to get participants out of their comfort zones, open their hearts and make a sincere and long-lasting commitment. Activities were challenging, both physically and emotionally, challenging the participants to push through various obstacles. Their motivation had to be clear, and they had to dig deep. As a result, they created strong bonds of heart as a new group of 57 Unificationist-born young people ready to embark on their journey together.The following three days were designed to help the participants to discover their true purpose and intentions. Inspirational speaker Tasnah Moyer, an alumna of GPA and its predecessor, STF (Special Task Force), facilitated the process through a series of talks and activities developed to help them look far ahead. Where will they be in five, 10 or even 30 years? What kind of person will they be, what kind of relationships, lifestyle and family will they have? As they examined their unique strengths and gifts, they began to think about what unique contribution they will be making to the world. By looking far ahead, they were able to more powerfully and clearly set their intentions for this GPA year.The next days were spent exploring the Divine Principle, through reading directly from the book, receiving lectures from Mrs. Christine Froehlich, having discussions and asking questions. Many of them testified that their hearts had never been so open and moved by the power of the DP.On their final day at UTS the participants were blessed by the visits of both FFWPU Continental Director Dr. Ki Hoon Kim and FFWPU-USA President Dr. Michael Balcomb. Dr. Kim emphasized the value of this year in order to develop spiritual power and make bonds of heart with one another. He encouraged the participants to look far into the future, beyond their GPA year.Dr. Balcomb spoke about the importance of the generational transition, and how young Unificationists have to catch the baton well that older Unificationists until now have been carrying.The new teams are now headed out on their first fundraising condition for two weeks. The three goals of the GPA program are (1) to develop a lasting, personal relationship with God and True Parents, (2) to understand, exemplify and share the Divine Principle and (3) to be empowered to uniquely impact the world.last_img read more