MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: Do dolphins produce electricity?

Date: Mon Feb 17 07:07:10 2003
Posted By: Jocelyn Wishart, Lecturer, Education,
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 1045426820.Zo

Iím sorry to disillusion you but dolphins do not produce electricity 
however, they do make and use sounds in two different ways.

Firstly, for communication - dolphins communicate mainly by means of 
sounds and are, almost always, constantly vocal. These sounds includes 
high-pitched whistles or squeals and short, pulse-type or squawks produced 
from their blowholes.

Secondly, they echolocate by producing clicking sounds in the air passages 
in their heads and then receiving and interpreting the resulting echo. 
These sound waves bounce off objects in the water and return to the 
dolphin in the form of an echo. Dolphins have an oil-filled organ called 
the melon in the forehead which enables them to focus and beam clicks 
through the water in front of them.

There is more information at http://

This site gives detailed descriptions of different kinds of fish and how 
they generate electricity.  It also has a section on dolphins and 
echolocation. Click on the links in the left hand menu for details of the 
different animals.

Lastly, I would check your information about fish using electricity to 
chirp - 
this seems very unusual.

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