イルカも人間同様に「名前」で呼び掛けている!?

高い知能を持つ動物として知られるイルカ。彼らは、たとえば人間が"名前"で呼び合うように、独特の合図で特定の相手を呼んでいるらしい。

<mirror.co.uk>では、「愛する者の不在を淋しがるバンドウイルカは、その相手の"名前"を叫ぶ」という科学者らの説を紹介。人間の"名前"同様、イルカは相手を認識する"合図"を持っているそうだ。

専門家の間ではすでに、イルカがお互いの"合図"を真似ていることは知られていたのだが、敵意なのか親愛の情なのかははっきりしていなかった。それが今回の調査で、イルカ流"愛のシグナル"だとわかったのだ。

英セントアンドルーズ大学などの調査では、野生と捕獲された両方のバンドウイルカの"合図"を録音。その結果、真似た合図は"母親と子供"、または"長い間の付き合いにある成熟した雄"の間だけで発生することが判明した。バンドウイルカの場合は、たとえ物理的に離れていても、互いの声が聞こえる範囲にいれば合図が作られるそうだ。

水深や合図の頻度にもよるが、バンドウイルカの合図は最長で20km離れたところまで聞こえるという。調査ではさらに真似した合図は完全コピーではなく、少しだけ変化させていることもわかったのだが、これは他のイルカが混同するのを避けるためと考えられている。さすが、人間に次ぐ知能を持つと言われる生物である。

(参照元:mirror.co.uk,discovery.com)

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Indian soldiers from the Border Security Forces atop camels stand at attention in front of the Presidential Palace during a ceremony in preparation for the annual Beating Retreat in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. India marks Republic Day on Jan. 26. (Kevin Frayer, AP)

Tourists enjoy a camel ride at dawn at Uluru in Central Australia, November 5, 2012. (Glenn Campbell, The Sydney Morning Herald / Fairfax Media / Getty Images).

The sun rises behind Damien Hirst's bronze sculpture of a pregnant woman on October 17, 2012 in Ilfracombe, England. The bronze-clad, sword-wielding 65ft (20m) statue, named Verity, has been controversially given to the seaside town by the artist, on a 20-year loan and was erected yesterday by crane onto the harbour pier. (Matt Cardy, Getty Images)

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The Zac Posen Spring 2013 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (John Minchillo, AP)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 20:  Actors Amber Tamblyn (L) and David Cross attend Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of 'It's A Disaster' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

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FILE: Actor Bruce Willis and Emma Heming attend "The Expendables" Los Angeles Premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on August 3, 2010 in Hollywood, California. Bruce Willis and Emma Heming welcomed a daughter, Mabel Ray Willis on April 2, 2012. This is their first child together. Bruce Willis has three daughters older with actress Demi Moore.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Actress Catherine Zeta Jones and actor Michael Douglas pose backstage at the Michael Kors Spring 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on September 12, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02:  Business magnate Donald Trump and wife Melania Trump attend the Limited Edition Marchesa/NFL Collaboration Launch at National Football League on October 2, 2012 in New York City.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 20:  Actors George Clooney and Stacy Keibler arrive at the 26th Anniversary Carousel Of Hope Ball presented by Mercedes-Benz at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 20, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 15:  Actors Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 04:  Actor Alec Baldwin (R) and Hilaria Thomas (L) arrive at the premiere of "Rise of the Guardians" during the 2012 AFI Fest presented by Audi at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 4, 2012 in Hollywood, California.

STANSTED, ENGLAND - JUNE 02:  Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and his fiance Crystal Harris arrives at Stansted Airport on June 2, 2011 in Stansted, England. Mr Hefner is back in the UK to mark the launch of the new Playboy Club in Mayfair, which opens on June 4. The club's opening will welcome back the iconic Playboy Bunny to London after a 30 year absence. Famous Bunnies have included Debbie Harry and Lauren Hutton.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Actor Jason Statham (L) and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley  arrives at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23:  (L-R) Actor Jeff Goldblum and Emilie Livingston attend the 2012 Old Vic New York Gala at Gotham Hall on January 23, 2012 in New York City.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 27:  Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez (L) and dancer Casper Smart arrive at Mystere By Cirque Du Soleil at the Treasure Island Hotle & Casino on May 27, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 15:  Actor Kelsey Grammer (R) and wife Kayte Walsh arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel on January 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

CENTURY CITY, CA - MAY 20: Recording artist Marc Anthony (L) and Shannon De Lima attend the 27th Annual Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Sports Spectacular at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel on May 20, 2012 in Century City, California.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Recording artist Mariah Carey (L) and husband TV personality Nick Cannon attend the 12th Annual BMI Urban Awards at the Saban Theatre on September 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09:   Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy attend the Dallas Mavericks vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on November 9, 2012 in New York City.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 27:   Singer Celine Dion (R) and manager Rene Angelil arrive at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, California.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Rod Stewart (L) and Penny Lancaster arrive at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in association with Pandora at Berkeley Square Gardens on May 29, 2012 in London, England.

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