The Complexity of Bottlenose Dolphin Language
      Studies show that humans are more sophisticated than any other species in their use of language because humans use thoughtful language, whereas, most other species use language out of impulse. However, other non-human species are more sophisticated in how they communicate with one another. This essay will examine the communication strategies of bottlenose dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins have a highly extensive and developed communication network. The key to understanding the extent to this language is to determine whether they have a repertoire of grammatical rules that generate organized sequences. Most importantly, it is necessary to understand the incredible aptitude of dolphin communicative skills, and the impressive intelligence the animal possesses which allows for a great deal of intraspecies and interspecies communication (Schusterman, Thomas, & Wood, 1986).
The acoustical reception and processing abilities of the bottlenose dolphins have generally been shown to be among the most sophisticated of any animal including humans (Popper, 1980 as cited by Schusterman et al. 1986). In order to understand the complexity of these highly mechanized acoustic systems, it is necessary to learn the process for which the dolphin hears. In most water-adapted cetaceans, tissue conduction is the primary route of sound conduction to the middle ear. The isolation of the bulla shows an adaptation for tissue-conducted sound. The lower jaw contains fat that is closely associated with the impedance of seawater. The lower jawbone of most dolphins becomes broadened and quite thin towards the rear, and the fat forms an oval shape that closely corresponds to the area of minimum thickness of the jaw. This fat body leads directly to the bulla, producing a sound path to the ear structures located deep within the head. Paired and single air sacs are scattered throughout the skull, which serve to channel these tissue-conducted sounds...