Research suggests dolphins have names and even respond to them

It's thought the unique whistling noises are their communication tools

Updated: 

Bottlenose dolphins tend to be rather talkative types, and, while experts haven't been able to translate everything the sea mammals are saying, they have gained insights into the animals' unique whistles.

Research suggests that these noises are the equivalent of names and that dolphins will respond when theirs is heard.

See also: School of dolphins swim alongside tourist boat

See also: Friendly dolphin plays with children in German canal

According to a National Geographic piece from 2013, a University of California, San Diego, scientist who has studied the behaviour says the reply, a repeat of the whistle, works much like saying: "Yup, I'm here - did you call my name?"

Another researcher from the University of St. Andrews said: "Dolphins live in this three-dimensional environment, offshore withouth any kind of landmarks and they need to stay together as a group.

"These animals live in an environment where they need a very efficient system to stay in touch."

Although this study does clear up questions about how dolphin pods manage to stay together there's still quite a bit about the animal's communication habits that's yet to be discovered.

Dolphins in pictures

Dolphins in pictures