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dolphin eavesdropping

Subject: dolphin eavesdropping
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2008 08:39:57 -0700
The following review article has recently been published, and is now
available for download at this address:

Gregg, J.D., Dudzinski, K.M., Smith, H.V. (2007) Do dolphins eavesdrop on
the echolocation signals of conspecifics? International Journal of
Comparative Psychology, 20: 65-88 Abstract: Preliminary experimental evidence shows that it is possible for an
eavesdropping dolphin to discern object information from the returning
echoes generated by the echolocation signals of conspecifics. Researchers
have offered suggestions as to how this proposed ability may affect the
behavior of wild dolphin species. A review of early and contemporary ideas,
hypotheses and experiments concerning eavesdropping in dolphins is presented
here, resulting in the development of a formalized, modern version of the
'echoic eavesdropping' hypothesis. The ecological implications of
eavesdropping behavior remain unknown; refinement of the hypothesis and
clarification of underlying assumptions are vital to our understanding of
how echoic eavesdropping behavior might manifest itself in the social
behavior of wild odontocetes. Suggestions for future research involving both
echoic eavesdropping and a novel, alternative hypothesis (multi-source
echoic eavesdropping) are offered. With the potential to elucidate many of
the mysteries concerning dolphin biosonar use and dolphin behavior in
general, echoic eavesdropping is an idea that deserves future attention.

If you encounter any trouble downloading the PDF, please let me know and I
can send it by email.
Justin Gregg, PhD
Research Associate & Vice President
Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 711, Old Mystic, CT 06372-0711, USA

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