Sparky Lurkdragon (sparky_ld) wrote in little_details,
Sparky Lurkdragon

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When and how do dolphins learn ecolocation?

I have an idea for a mini-fanfic based on the Ecco the Dolphin games. The idea centers around a baby bottlenose dolphin learning how to use his sonar, but I'm not sure if that's plausible or not.

So, my questions are this: At what age do bottlenose dolphins (or dolphins or even just cetaceans in general) start to use echolocation? Does it seem to be instinctual, like human breathing, instinctual but needing practice, like a cat learning to hunt, or does it have to be learned, like chimps using sticks to catch termites?

Even some good search queries would be useful here - everything I can think of just brings up general dolphin FAQs with things like "How do dolphins use sonar?" and "How long do dolphins live?".

(Edited to add a topic title. I thought I had one... sorry!)
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