Dolphins in Florida have been trained to sing the theme from the movie "Batman." They have been taught to combine both rhythm and vocalizations to produce an extremely high-pitched, but recognizable, version of the Batman song.
Jennifer Viegas writes in Discovery News that researcher Heidi Harley did just do this for fun--it's the first time that non-human mammals have shown that they recognize, and can reproduce, vocal rhythms.
Trained dolphins from Disney's Epcot Center were used for the study. They were trained to "sing" the Batman song when shown a Batman doll, then rewarded with fish if they did it correctly.
Before this, scientists thought that only certain breeds of parrots could reproduce vocal rhythms the way we can. Despite being so genetically close to us, even chimps can't do this. We know that dolphins are eminently trainable, and from the recent flooding of dolphin pens due to hurricane Katrina, we've learned that dolphins have been trained to blow up ships and attack terrorists underwater.
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
Scientists think that air breathing mammals that never go ashore, like dolphins and whales, tried living on dry land millions of years ago but didn?t like it, so they RETURNED to the water, where they could swim freely and effortlessly filter-feed for fish. Humans weren't around in those days to witness this, but there WERE people around more recently to witness the Virgin Mary Conspiracy. Don't miss this incredible Dreamland show!
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