Dolphins can recognize each other by the taste of their urine, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of St Andrews published a study in the journal Science Advances that found dolphins’ unique sense of taste allows them to tell the difference between their other mammal friends from their urine and other excretions.
Prof Vincent Janik, director of the Scottish Oceans Institute, and his colleagues, Jason Bruck and Sam Walmsley, tested how dolphins reacted to urine samples from different individuals. They found that the marine mammals were much more interested in the urine from the animals they recognized rather than the ones they didn’t know.
Janik told The Guardian, “Dolphins explored urine samples for longer if they came from known animals or when they were presented together with the dolphin’s unique and distinctive signature whistle, an acoustic identifier that works like a name.”
“We still know very little about how the sense of taste works in dolphins. Other studies have shown that they lost a lot of the common tastes that we find in other mammals such as sour, sweet, umami or bitter. But they have unusual sensory cells on their tongue that are probably involved in this detection of individual tastes of other animals.”
Lead Image Source : Willyam Bradberry/Shutterstock.
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