Dolphins Eavesdrop on Each Other to Avoid Awkward Run-Ins

The new finding underscores the complexity of marine mammals’ social life and cognition. It may also help save the snoopy cetaceans.

You’d think it would be easier to spy on a Risso’s dolphin. The species frequents nearly every coast in the world. Their bulging heads and streaky gray and white patterning make them some of the most recognizable creatures in the ocean. And as with other cetaceans, they travel in groups and constantly chitchat: Clicks, buzzes, and whistles help them make sense of their underwater existence. Their social world is a sonic one.

“They’re a very vocal species,” says Charlotte Curé, a bioacoustics

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