Dolphins & Whales Squeal, But Why?

Dolphins and whales have their own “Happy” song, according to scientists who have translated the animals’ high-pitched sounds as squeals of delight.

Researchers at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego originally thought the sounds were signals that food was present. But, when dolphins and beluga whales emitted the same squeals after a successful training mission, scientists interpreted the sounds as “whoops” of triumph, according to U.S. cetacean expert and author Dr. Sam Ridgway.

Ridgway has spent over 50 years studying and training cetaceans, and rewarding them with fish treats. After his wife suggested that the squeals reminded her of delighted children, Ridgway wondered if the sounds could be expressions of delight.

Ridgeway and his colleagues then analyzed past recordings of dolphins and whale experiments and found a connection between the squeals and the release of dopamine, the brain chemical associated with pleasure.

“We think we have demonstrated that (the victory squeal) has emotional content,” says Ridgway in an article in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Keep dolphins and whales happy by protecting their environment. Sign this petition to help stop the construction of a newly proposed dam that could wipe out the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.


Jayasri Amma
Jayasri Amma3 years ago

Thank you!

Shelli S.
Shelli S3 years ago

Hear that, Japan?

Shelli S.
Shelli S3 years ago

Petition closed? Seems half of all petitions, on Care2, R closed :/

Marija Mohoric
Marija M3 years ago

ty for sharing

Donna F.
Donna F3 years ago


Paula Lopes
Paula Lopes3 years ago

Lovely lovely creatures.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Petition closed?! Thanks for sharing.

Mari 's
Mari 's3 years ago

They do talk to each other And dolphins name other dolphins and call them by name.

Wendy H.
Wendy H3 years ago

Thank you~
I love dolphins and whales.

Hent Catalina-Maria