8:58am UK, Tuesday April 07, 2009

by Catherine Jacob, Environment correspondent

Dolphins’ secret underwater language has intrigued generations of scientists, but no one has come close to cracking the code to understanding their mysterious sounds – until now.
A British acoustics engineer claims he may be close to deciphering the clicks and whistles that make up “dolphin speak”.

In a lab in his Cumbrian cottage, John Stuart Reid showed me his Cymascope, a new invention which transforms sounds into pictures.

He explained the principle behind it using sand, a brass plate and a violin bow.

“You see what happens when we bring the bow down the side of the plate,” he said.

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