Is it possible for dolphins and humans to develop a primitive language? The world's leading expert on dolphins, Dr. Denise L. Herzing, is determined on finding out just how far dolphins will go to interact with human beings.
The Bahamas is a perfect experimental playground for tests. The crystal-clear, warm water, no land in sight and pods of dolphins...it is here that Dr. Herzing swims with a pod of 15 Atlantic spotted dolphin, playing fetch with seaweed. Tackling the hardest part of this experiment, getting the dolphins interested in human interaction.
The communication system being developed by Dr. Herzing uses the idea of whistles for identification. Two divers will perform in front of a pod of dolphin; first making a whistle sound, then one hands off seaweed to the other. In doing this, Herzing hopes to develop an association between the noise and the object, and dolphins being natural mimics will respond by requesting to engage.
At this point, Herzing clearly states, "we're not talking to dolphins...we'll keep it simple and then we can potentially expand it." She also believes, that once the dolphin realize they can communicate with humans, they too will be excited, realizing they can "get what they want in real time." A language? Not exactly, but it's about the same amount of communication I have with my cat, and it seems pretty special.