The study showed that dolphins are so cultured that they even enjoy listening to Beethoven and Bach.
- New study finds that playing classical music makes dolphins happier
- Dolphins who played classical music were more social with others
- The researchers said that music can help dolphins when they are stressed.
- The study found that classical music was more beneficial than dolphin toys.
They are known to be very smart. But it looks like dolphins are cultured too.
The study suggests that they love classical music. The dolphins who played Bach, Grieg, Saint-Saens, Debussy and Beethoven showed more sociable behavior.
The mammals showed more interest in each other, made more gentle touches and swam longer in sync, according to researchers from the University of Padua in New York. Italy found.
Giving them toys or playing other sounds didn’t have the same effect.
The way the dolphins behaved after listening to the music suggested that they felt happy, perhaps because it activated their brains to produce endogenous opioids, chemicals like endorphins that affect mood.
(Stock image) Known for their intelligence, dolphins also seem to enjoy classical music, which seems to make them more sociable.
“We know that in many animals, endorphins are associated with social bonding,” said lead researcher Dr. Cecile Guerino. “Opioid receptor activation correlates with feelings of euphoria”. Her team studied eight bottlenose dolphins using an underwater speaker to play classical music to them.
The results are published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science.
According to Dr. Guerino, dolphins can also perceive rhythm because they learn to vocalize. Perhaps just as dancing at a party makes us feel good and helps people bond, when dolphins get in sync with the rhythm, they also feel good and connect with their swim mates.
For the study, Dr. Guerino’s team studied eight bottlenose dolphins kept at a dolphinarium in Riccione, Italy. There were five females and three males ranging in age from 5 to 49 years old, three of which were born in the wild.
They were studied in a pool that was separated from the exhibition space and out of the public eye, providing an undisturbed environment.
An underwater speaker was used to play 20 minutes of classical music to the dolphins a day every few days, for a total of seven sessions.
The collection consisted of six pieces: Prelude BWV 846 by Bach; “Morning Mood” from the opera “Peer Gynt” by Grieg; The swan from Carnival of the Animals by Charles Camille Saint-Saens; “Reflections in the water” Debussy; and Beethoven’s Almost Fantasy.
On seven other randomly selected days, the sound of rain was played for 20 minutes each; showed a 20-minute video about nature on TV monitors; or give floating toys to play with for 20 minutes.
The activities were presented in random order and the behavior of the dolphins was recorded using two video cameras.
The researchers concluded that performing classical music for dolphins can be particularly beneficial when the animals are under stress or in other situations that may lead to increased conflict, or when changes in the social composition of the group need to be made.
Previous research by the National Autonomous University of Mexico found that classical music also increased social behavior in lab-kept chimpanzees, and a Queen’s University Belfast study found that it reduced aggressive, abnormal behavior in gorillas.
The results were published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science.