Gossip, Gossip, Gossip!

Dolphin couple gossiping

Oh, they saw us coming…   They drew us right in with their always-chipper smiles, perky chatter, and eternally-friendly dispositions.   We’ve been lulled into thinking of dolphins as our joyful & genial cousins in the sea.   But those sly devils had us fooled all along.   You see, dolphins are simply not to be trusted because, well… they gossip!

Not too long ago, I posted a blog entry about a group of Scottish researchers who had proved that dolphins have names.   Well, according to Bruno Maddox’s wry commentary in a recent Discover magazine article, the Scots have since gone on to show:

[Dolphins] gossip.   We know this because we know their names.   Each bottlenose individual identifies itself by a unique pattern of whistles and clicks.   What was not known until the Scottish research, however, is that a pair of dolphins use the name of a third dolphin when that third dolphin isn’t present.   In other words, dolphins gossip.

So, it’s not bad enough that our aquatic cousins are busybodies, but they’re rumormongers, too.   And just when we were starting to think they might truly be the superior species…