Distress Call

Analysis of the many different vocal productions of pairs of bottle-nosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Montagu) and the related behavior patterns shows that one pair of specific short (0.2 to 0.6 second) whistles was consistently stimulated by physical distress. This call stimulated nearby animals to push the head of the distressed animal to the surface to breathe. After the animal breathed, a vocal exchange preceded other forms of aid.

The first part of the distress call may be used alone and then seems to be "an attention call" without expressing distress, meant to reach any animals who may be within hearing distance.