How Do Dolphins Communicate?

How do dolphins communicate

Dolphins are extremely playful in general but highly intelligent so how do dolphins communicate? Dolphins emit high-frequency ultrasound waves and then listen to the echoes that bounce off objects in the water. This is how they can tell where other dolphins are, what they’re doing, and what they’re saying. Dolphins also use body language, whistles, and jumping as ways of communicating with each other and us. During our daily dolphin tours, we see them jumping out of the waters as if saying “hello”. Before we carry on, consider reading our 15 Things To Do in Daytona Beach.

Using Echolocation

Dolphin’s are a type of marine mammal that use ultrasound echolocation to navigate, communicate, and hunt. An echolocation is a form of biological sonar. Dolphins produce clicking sounds, which bounce off objects in the water and return to the dolphins as an echo. The echoes allow the dolphin to identify objects like fish, sharks, or other dolphins. The Dolphin’s use of echolocation is so accurate they can tell if the fish are moving away, how thick they are, and the location above or below them of the object!

Echolocation method by dolphins

Use cases of echolocation:

  • Other dolphins
  • Enemies
  • Prey
  • Hard to see waters
  • Distance
  • Navigation
  • Hunting

Do Dolphins Actually Talk to Each Other?

Dolphins talk to each other through clicking sounds and whistles as well as body language. Each one has its own vocals and sound which is important for identity within the pods. Dolphins have good eyesight above and below water but over distances, ultrasound echolocation may still be the winner. Dolphins have different sounds for different things. Their clicks are divided into three categories: whistles, chirps, and buzzes. Whistles are high-pitched sounds that range between 20 and 100 Hz. Chirps are low-frequency sounds that range between 1 and 10 Hz. Buzzes are lower frequency than chirps and are between 0.5 and 5 Hz. When they are up close to other dolphins body language may become more important and you’ll see them start to:

  • Hold hands: Swim with pectoral fins overlapping.
  • Arch: Bend head and tail ventrally.
  • Flex: Bend head and tail dorsally.
  • Headwag: Rapid, side to side shaking of the head.

Dolphins can communicate by touch. They can use their flippers to create pressure waves that they send through the water. These waves can travel up to 100 feet and are felt by other dolphins in their group.

Use of Whistling

Dolphins whistle to communicate with other members of their pod. When a dolphin makes a sound, it creates a wave that travels through the air. These waves travel at different speeds depending on the frequency of the sound. A low-frequency whistle travels faster than a high-frequency whistle. Dolphins have been known to whistle to warn others about predators, to call attention to themselves, and to express excitement.

Using Body Language in the Ocean

Tail slapping is a way dolphins communicate with each other. If a dolphin wants to get someone’s attention, it will slap its tail on the surface of the water. This causes ripples to spread across the water. Other dolphins may then notice these ripples and respond accordingly. Dolphins can also use tail slapping to show aggression towards other dolphins. Playful behavior is a type of activity that dolphins engage in. It includes playing games, chasing each other, and even roughhousing. Dolphins often play with each other using their tails.

Spy Hoping

Spy hopping is a type of acrobatic behavior performed by dolphins. It involves jumping out of the water while keeping their eyes open. Dolphins do this to catch fish or shrimp. In order to perform a successful jump, a dolphin must first leap out of the water and then dive back down before landing safely.

Leaping Out of Water

Leaping out of water is a type of acrobatics that dolphins perform. To do this, a dolphin leaps out of the water and lands on its feet. This is done to scare away sharks or to show off to other dolphins while catching a breath. Dolphins have been observed to perform aerial acrobatics in order to attract mates. In addition to performing acrobatic feats, they may also use these displays to communicate with each other. When a dolphin leaps out of the water, it uses the force of its tail fin to propel itself forward.

Bumping Each Other

Bumpers are a type of contact between two dolphins. They occur when one dolphin bumps another dolphin in the head or chest. This can happen when one dolphin wants to make sure that the other knows who is boss.

Do Dolphins Understand Human Language?

Dolphins may be able to recognize individual voices. Researchers have recorded dolphins’ responses to specific calls. A study conducted in Australia showed that bottlenose dolphins responded differently to different callers. In addition, researchers have shown that dolphins respond to human speech by moving closer to the speaker. Mainly dolphins are “limited” to learning certain trained tasks and expressing the desire for things such as food.

Communication of dolphin to woman

Dolphins Sleep in Pods or Companions for Protection

Adults and young dolphins swim in pods to reduce the risk of being preyed on. They may rest near one another, or take turns sleeping while companionable animals pair up for protection from predators who might see them as easy catches if alone! A tired infant can be a vulnerable target for infection or injury or drowning.


Dolphins even though they’re mammals still have many language barriers to get through first or a breakthrough in technology so we humans may communicate with them. They love to explore. If they spot something interesting, they’ll investigate it. They might poke their nose into a hole or crack, or they might jump out of the water along the shoreline. If you are looking to get closer to these majestic mammals come check out Ponce Inlet Watersports near Daytona Beach FL. We offer daily tours starting at 10:00 am! Children under 3 FREE!

For more interesting facts about dolphins, you can visit this link: 23 Weird Facts About Dolphins.

You can also find more information on their social media pages:



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