For the first time, wild dolphin observed 'talking' with harbor porpoises
A wild dolphin named Kylie may be able to “converse” with porpoises, a striking example of cross-species communication.
On Scotland’s west coast is the Firth of Clyde, a large saltwater inlet home to thousands of harbor porpoises—and one dolphin named Kylie.
Kylie hasn’t been observed with other common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) in at least 14 years—but she’s far from alone. On clear days in the Clyde, visitors to the marina can sometimes see Kylie swimming with harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), cetacean cousins about two-thirds her size.
New research published in Bioacoustics this January suggests Kylie’s ties to porpoises are closer than scientists imagined. While a common dolphin’s vocal repertoire should include a diverse range of clicks, whistles, and pulse calls, Kylie doesn’t whistle. Instead, she “talks” more like harbor porpoises, which communicate using high-pitched bursts