Whispering Whales

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A mother and calf humpback whale swim in the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. Fredrik Christiansen/Functional Ecology

Thanks to National Public Radio (USA) for this story:

Recordings Reveal That Baby Humpback Whales ‘Whisper’ To Their Mothers

by Nell Greenfieldboyce

Whalesound.jpgBaby humpback whales seem to whisper to their mothers, according to scientists who have captured the infant whales’ quiet grunts and squeaks.

The recordings, described in the journal Functional Ecology, are the first ever made with devices attached directly to the calves.

“When they’re born, these whales are around 5 meters long,” says Simone Videsen at Aarhus University in Denmark, who notes that this is “pretty big considering it’s a baby.”

Calves must travel with their mothers for thousands of miles during an annual migration to the food-rich waters of the Antarctic. Exactly what happens during that period is a mystery.

“When they’re born, these whales are around 5 meters long,” says Simone Videsen at Aarhus University in Denmark, who notes that this is “pretty big considering it’s a baby.”

Calves must travel with their mothers for thousands of miles during an annual migration to the food-rich waters of the Antarctic. Exactly what happens during that period is a mystery…

Read the whole story here.

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