News and Music Discovery
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Denise Herzing: Do Dolphins Have A Language?

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Anthropomorphic

About Denise Herzing's TED Talk

We know that dolphins make distinctive clicks and whistles. But is that a language? Researcher Denise Herzing thinks it might be — and for the past 35 years — she's been working on unlocking it.

About Denise Herzing

Denise Herzing is the founder and research director of the Wild Dolphin Project, which strives to understand the social structure, behavior, communication, and habitats of dolphins outside the confines of an aquarium or research facility.

For more than 30 years, she has spent each summer observing a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins in the Bahamas. Her team joined forces with Georgia Tech to build a wearable that allowed them to better understand dolphin language.

Herzing is the author of the 2011 book Dolphin Diaries. And she is also is an assistant affiliate professor at Florida Atlantic University.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Corrected: August 17, 2019 at 11:00 PM CDT
An earlier headline on this story misspelled Denise Herzing's first name as Deinse.