Pandemic Quiet Is Helping Humans Eavesdrop on Rare Dolphins

Pandemic Quiet Is Helping Humans Eavesdrop on Rare Dolphins

A Burrunan dolphin has breached the surface before diving down and emitting the sound, which, ordinarily, would be received only by other aquatic animals. This time, however, the dolphin’s signal is picked up by a team of scientists, for whom the coronavirus pandemic has had a silver-dorsal lining. The reduction in noise has gifted Marine Mammal Foundation (MMF) scientists rare underwater quiet, and an unusual opportunity to effectively record and interpret the language of endangered Burrunan dolphins for the first time. Before then, there were only two known species of bottlenose in the world—the common bottlenose and the smaller, lighter-colored Indo-Pacific bottlenose. We know a lot about individually specific signature whistles of dolphins, thanks to a long-term research program in Sarasota, Florida.

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