Dolphins use taste to identify friends, says Bermuda study
A new study – based in part on research carried out in Bermuda – suggests that dolphins may be able to identify their friends by taste.
According to National Geographic, Jason Bruck, a marine biologist at Stephen F Austin State University in Texas, had launched the study to see if dolphins could identify each other through their whistles.
However, the study also appeared to suggest that the dolphins could identify each other by their urine.
The study examined dolphins at Dolphin Quest facilities both in Bermuda and Hawaii in 2016 and 2017 and revealed that the animals would ignore urine from unknown dolphins.
However, the dolphins would “investigate” urine from dolphins that they had previously lived with at the facilities.
Mr Bruck told the magazine: “The dolphins were very, very keen to participate.
“Usually, dolphins get bored with my experiments. We were tapping into something that is part of the dolphins’ world.”
Dolphins in the wild have been spotted purposely swimming through plumes of urine.
While dolphins do not have a sense of smell, they do have a strong sense of taste.
Mr Bruck said he was interested in further studies into the subject to look at how the dolphins are able to identify each other though their urine.
He added that the study was important because it was unknown how pollution might impact the dolphin’s tasting process.