Seadragon design is supported by recent research
*An earlier set of playback experiments (2003-4) showed that dolphins are capable of recognizing synthetic signature whistle contours, suggesting that contour is the most important feature of the whistle for individual recognition.*
Whistle Matching in Wild Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
Dolphin communication is suspected to be complex, on the basis of their call repertoires, cognitive abilities, and ability to modify signals through vocal learning. Because of the difficulties involved in observing and recording individual cetaceans, very little is known about how they use their calls. This report shows that wild, unrestrained bottlenose dolphins use their learned whistles in matching interactions, in which an individual responds to a whistle of a conspecific by emitting the same whistle type. Vocal matching occurred over distances of up to 580 meters and is indicative of animals addressing each other individually.