(Mirror Daily, United States) – Researchers have placed us in the eye of a dolphin, and managed to catch a remarkable look on how the marine animals see the world around them. It was previously thought that they see mere shadows of obstacles in front of them. However, they were able to capture a decent amount of detail using echolocation.
Researchers at Speak Dolphin dedicated a decade to decipher dolphin communication, and understand how they see the world around them. It’s an exceptional system created through echolocation and those trademark clicks that makes it possible. First off, they discovered that a dolphin can successfully identity an object with 92% accuracy from another of its species’ clicks.
It’s a beautifully crafted system through which they aid each other in navigating the waters. However, according to team leader, Jack Kassewitz, the discovery made them want to look into watch exactly the dolphin saw.
The study was conducted at Dolphin Discovery Center in Mexico, with the aid of a female dolphin named Amaya. One of the researchers, Jim McDonough, dove into the water with a heavy belt around him to compensate for natural buoyancy. Then, Amaya directed her sonar beams at the scientist while a very powerful hydrophone recorded the echoes.
This was done through CymaScope. It’s a patented imaging process that successfully records sonic vibrations in water. With each click, the dolphin essentially takes a still picture, similar to a camera. Each click is a pulse. Every pulse is modulated by the shape of object it encounters. As Amaya used her high frequency beams to detect the diver into the water, CymaScope recorded the sonic imprints.
The researchers sent the recording to a 3D company in the United Kingdom. The results of the 2D image showed that dolphins actually record images to a much better detail than though before. The first time scientists managed to see what the animals create through echolocation rendered them “speechless”. It’s more than just a shadow.
Their experiment showed that dolphins have the ability to detect the full silhouette of a human body, including its head and limbs accurately through the water. This was done in over 50 million years worth of evolution. For five decades, marine biologists and scientists have explored this exquisite ability, and are just now starting to get answers.
According to Kassewitz, “for the first time ever, we may be holding in our hands a glimpse of what cetaceans see with sound”. A similar result may be the case for whales.