Just as Jane Goodall has her chimpanzees and Diane Fossey had her gorillas, Denise Herzing has spent the last 25 years observing and befriending the same group of wild dolphins in the Bahamas.
The marine mammalogist has cataloged thousands of hours of behaviors and vocalizations and has watched young calves grow up to be parents and grandparents. Her work provides a unique window into the complex world of wild dolphins and also helps answer the question: Might we ever be able to talk with them?
Herzing writes about her research and the joys of being accepted into a dolphin family in her new book "Dolphin Diaries."
Herzing says there are now hopes that a new system called CHAT could help humans communicate with dolphins. CHAT uses a computer that's wearable in the water and allows a diver to detect a dolphin's call and respond.
Researchers are trying to use the call and response system to create a language that both humans and dolphins can understand.
- New Scientist: Talk with a dolphin via underwater translation machine
- Dr. Denise Herzing, marine mammalogist and founder of the Wild Dolphin Project in Jupiter, Fla.
This segment aired on August 1, 2011.