Dolphins can do math

It has been found that dolphins may use complex nonlinear math when they go hunting. A new study suggests that dolphins may be much more skilled at maths than people ever thought possible.

 The study was inspired when the lead author watched Discovery channels “Blue Planet”. He noticed that dolphins were blowing tiny bubbles around their prey as they hunted.

 The author became hooked as he knew that sonar made by man would not operate in the water the dolphins were in.

 He said that by blowing the bubbles the dolphins were either blinding their most spectacular sensory apparatus or they possess a sonar that can do that what human sonar can’t.

 The math involved relies upon sending out pulses that vary in amplitude. The first pulse may have a value that is 1 and the second’s amplitude may be 1/3 of the first.

 Provided a dolphin remembers the ratios of the 2 pulses and can then multiply the second by that and add these 2 echoes together the fish will become ‘visible’ to the sonar.

 It was then worked out by the author that there must be a second part of this hunt. Bubbles can cause false alarms because they scatter. Dolphins can’t afford to send out false alarms and waste their energy while the real fish escape.

 The second stage was found to involve subtracting the echoes from one another, ensuring that the second pulse is multiplied by three. This process is short and the fish is visible to sonar via addition.

 Questions still need to be answered but what the author has shown is that it is not impossible to distinguish a target in bubbly water using pulses like dolphins do.

 If the sonar model is replicated this may provide large benefits for humans. The sonar may be able to detect covert circuitry and help detect sea mines.

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